Video Credit: Christina Vessa
Some were marching in remembrance of Martin Luther King Jr., others were marching in advocacy for social equality. Whatever the cause, people gathered together in unity and peace to celebrate the man who sought after equality for all.
Hundreds of Fort Collins residents and members of the Colorado State University community marched through Old Town on Monday morning to honor Martin Luther King Jr. Everyone ranging from children to church ministers gathered in Old Town Square and paraded down South College Avenue to the Lory Student Center, where CSU President Tony Frank and Fort Collins mayor Karen Weitkunat spoke, all in the name of justice and equality.
The Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration is held annually. Although the event is hosted to honor the movement that Martin Luther King Jr. started, many said they attend to keep his spirit of equality alive today and to advocate for current social justices. This year’s theme was, “free but shackled: the cost of oppression.”
“Different people show up for different reasons,” said Amber Ramoz, the program manager of campus activities at CSU.
Rebecca McFee, a minister at First United Methodist Church in Fort Collins, said marching with the Fort Collins community was her way of following Martin Luther King Jr.’s nonviolent example of fighting for all equality issues.
“LGBT is the most glaring. Anything, like poverty or wealth, that breaks people apart as a community of caring becomes an issue,” McFee said, in regard to current social injustices.
For Susan Goering, a Fort Collins resident and annual MLK march attendee, showing civil rights involvement is not a new idea.
“I have been marching on this day for decades, and have been involved with civil rights issues for years,” Goering said. “I am grateful for our progress, but distressed with our current stance on racial equality.”
Tony Frank spoke at the ceremony following the march in the LSC ballroom, addressing how Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream and movement are still relevant 50 years later.
“From the streets of Birmingham to that great march on Washington, King and his fellow marchers pushed ahead with the force of peace, our dignity and the tireless conviction,” Frank said.
“And as they pushed against oppression, they pulled us forward to a better future, to this time, to this place, to a point so far from where they and we were and still so far where we know we need to be.”
Collegian Reporter Zara DeGroot can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @zaradegroot.