Martin Luther King Jr. Day was Monday, but some people use the whole week to commemorate King’s legacy. People in State College did just that Wednesday by holding a peace march.
This march started at the Penn State University HUB, stopped in front of Old Main, before congregating in Martin Luther King Jr. Plaza. This peace march was about many things, but especially about reflecting on the past.
“We’re gonna march! We’re gonna march!” march leaders yelled through a megaphone.
One of the March for Peace’s organizers, Cita Frederick saying, in this context, “This idea of peace is about working together and finding a pathway forward.”
“The work for civil rights to establish justice and basic human rights for all is ongoing.”
“Our marchers bring great energy and passion that reminds us that we cannot get comfortable in thinking we’ve accomplished a lot or accomplished anything, that we must always continue to do the work.”
“A global conversation about anti-oppression, about anti-blackness, about Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy of working together and coming together, to stand up for what we believe is right and our values in the world.”
As for those values, she said they are: “Human dignity, empathy, right? Solidarity.”
“peace is about our individual growth” and that this pathway forward requires understanding “the systems of oppression in our world and reckoning with that internally.”
“Because that’s a really hard thing to kind of wrap your mind around, that the world is not fair,” she continued, saying part of reckoning with that is marching and standing “with people who are different from you” and having those tough conversations.
“If the conversation can’t happen today, when is it going to happen? accountability is something that I keep hearing over and over again.”
Something he announced at MLK Plaza Wednesday is that the MLK Plaza Committee is now a permanent borough committee, telling 6 News, “The committee’s been instrumental in helping us to plan these kinds of events that are, you know, celebrations and symbols and reminders always to continue doing the work to help us look at the past, understand [and] learn from the past, and look to the future as well.”
Frederick concluded that aside from learning from the past, they need to dream “into the future, not just five years, not just 10 years, but really where do we want to go, right? Before it’s too late.”