UNA Pressroom

Students Organize Martin Luther King, Jr. Remembrance March, Program

Jan. 10, 2012

Michelle Eubanks, UNA, at media@una.edu, 256.765.4392 or 256.606.2033

FLORENCE, Ala. -- The University of North Alabama Office of Student Engagement, Student Multicultural Advisory Committee and Baptist Campus Ministries will join together Jan. 13 at noon 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. For more than 10 years, UNA has engaged the university community in an annual march and program to commemorate King's nonviolent approach to ending racial discrimination in the 1960s. SMAC members are incorporating an "AIM to Change" theme into this January's events. "AIM to Change is the overall goal SMAC has set for the 2011-2012 academic year," said Allison Ray, UNA senior and SMAC student adviser. "Our goal seeks to advocate, integrate and motivate students toward racial and international awareness through multicultural education and programming. During the MLK march, AIM to Change will focus primarily on racial awareness and its effects today." Before the march takes place, organizers will present a 40-50 minute program in the Guillot University Performance Center, with groups such as Ascending Voices, Chamber Choir, Chinese Student Organization and SMAC making appearances. The keynote speaker of the event will be Ron Shepperd, president of the Florence Freshman Center. 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. Ray said the purpose of the Martin Luther King, Jr. march and program is to celebrate the achievements made by the civil rights activist and to promote acceptance and diversity toward all cultures. "Martin Luther King, Jr.'s work has been critical in past and present movements toward social and racial justice in Alabama and throughout the world," Ray said. "I encourage students, staff and faculty to attend the MLK march to not only remember Martin Luther King, Jr.'s contributions but to celebrate how far we have come as a university and nation." For more information, contact the Office of Student Engagement at 256-765-4248 or e-mail Allison Ray at awray@una.edu.