Students, faculty and administrators alike gathered under the clock tower Monday afternoon to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day with a unity march sponsored by MOSAIC, the Multicultural Organization of Students Active in Christ.
The 30 marchers followed the MOSAIC sign around the campus, demonstrating unity in Christ despite differences in ethnicity, background or hometown. Throughout the march, the group took turns reading from King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech. Marchers also piped up to recite Scripture, sing lines of familiar songs or pray over the campus.
“It was a really powerful experience because people were giving some testimonies about what their dreams were for the campus and even for this community,” said Marquita Smith, sponsor of MOSAIC. “Where it says let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia or the molehills of Mississippi, people were saying from the foothills of Arkansas and Kansas or Indiana, [their] home states. So people made it a very personal experience and I think that is what made it so special.”
Smith said the idea for a march grew from precedents set by historical collaborators. Whether for women’s suffrage or civil rights, demonstrations always included some kind of march.
“There is a powerful connectivity when we come together as one,” she said. “So I just felt like it was a way to demonstrate… what King stood for in terms of unity and us being one in the faith.”
Students such as senior Sam Dinger showed up to support that vision. Dinger said he grew up in the Mississippi Delta and experienced the problems firsthand from a young age. After going on the Chicago immersion trip in 2011, Dinger thought about the issue even more.
“It’s kind of been on my mind for a long time,” he said. “So it’s something I try to implement in my life, trying to understand or own the problems we have as the white race and also try to respond to that in a way that’s good.”
Overall, the leadership of MOSAIC was pleased with the turnout. Junior Bridgette Ojo, MOSAIC president, said they were not expecting many for the first year.
“I’m glad that we did it and I’m hoping that next year will be even greater and that we can make it an annual thing,” Ojo said.