UNA to Hold Martin Luther King Jr. March Jan. 14

Jan. 5, 2011


FLORENCE, Ala. – The University of North Alabama Office of Student Engagement, Student Multicultural Advisory Committee (SMAC) and Baptist Campus Ministries will join together for a program and march to celebrate the birthday of civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. and to recognize Alabama’s progression into racial equality Jan. 14 at noon.

For more than 10 years, UNA has engaged the university community in an annual march to commemorate King’s nonviolent approach to ending racial discrimination in the 1960s. This year, SMAC members are working to incorporate more of the student population in the event by being actively involved in the organization process.

“I want to encourage students to come out and to take part in this event and learn more about the diversity we have on campus,” said SMAC organizer and UNA junior Allison Ray. “We also want students to learn more about the history of our state, because this is a great opportunity to see how far [Alabama] has come, remember what has happened in the past and celebrate the future.”

The 40-50-minute program will begin in the Guillot University Performance Center, where SMAC will recite a portion of King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. They will also incorporate quotes from a canvas banner, in which UNA students were asked to write their modern-day dreams and goals for the future, into the program.

Following SMAC’s presentation, Dr. Thomas Calhoun, UNA associate vice president for academic affairs, will give a 10-minute speech about King and the promotion of racial equality. Though several student groups at UNA are expected to take part in the program and march, organizers have confirmed song/dance performances by the Chinese Student Organization, Chamber Choir and Alpha Beta Organization.

Following the program, participants will meet at the GUC atrium, where they will sing “We Shall Overcome” and march to the Baptist Campus Ministries (BCM) building on Wood Avenue. BCM will provide lunch to all attendees after the march is completed.

“This is a celebration of our freedoms, rights and different backgrounds,” said Tammy Jacques, director of student engagement. “Students sometimes don’t realize how lucky they are – in their freedoms, choices and values. It’s a celebration of the people who sacrificed their lives and went through a lot of ridicule and obstacles to experience life without parameters.”

For more information, contact the Office of Student Engagement at 256-765-4248.