Published Tue, Jan 17, 2012 3:01 pm Dateline
Members of the Athens and Ohio University community honored and reflected upon the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. during the 12th annual MLK Silent March on Monday.
The march, hosted by the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, began at the steps of Galbreath Chapel and went through College Green before ending at Baker University Center where a brunch was held.
Domestic violence survivor Kemba Smith-Pradia was the keynote speaker featured at the brunch.
She focused on how her experiences in life reflect King’s life and work.
More than 40 marchers attended, all with their own reasons for participating.
“The march symbolizes the respect we have for Dr. Martin Luther King,” said Donald Lindsay, Alpha Phi Alpha President. “It’s a moment where everyone can take some time to honor him and walk in peace.”
For others, it was an opportunity to remember significant moments in their lives.
“I was lucky to be in Washington [D.C.] to personally hear Dr. King speak,” said Arlene Sheak. “It was one of the greatest moments of my life. When Dr. King… made the crescendo at the end of the speech, I think most of us were in tears of joy. It was very powerful.” Sheak says she took to heart King’s words on giving citizens universal healthcare and was using the march as an opportunity to spread her beliefs.
Among members of a younger generation, the silent march was a chance to honor King's legacy and to spread his message of peace and equality.
“I feel his ideas have an impact on everyone, not just college students,” said Taylor Robinson. “We all need to come together as a nation, as a world come together, so we can all be equal.”
Others acknowledged Dr. King’s global reach. “He does have an impact on everyone in the world, not just Americans,” said Austin Mitchell. Sheak agreed with fellow marchers. “It’s very important for everyone in our community to recognize the peaceful way of Dr. King and his opposition to spending resources on war and killing,” said Sheak.