On Jan. 21, students and faculty braved the freezing temperatures and marched with other Erie-based groups and politicians in support of Martin Luther King Jr.’s cause for social justice.
The march began in Perry Square and ended at the Martin Luther King Center on Chestnut Street.
Colin Hurley, director of Community Engagement, organized transportation for students wishing to attend. He was very pleased with how it went.
“I would say the annual march for MLK Day was a good opportunity to gather as a diverse community and to be reminded of MLK’s legacy,” Hurley said. “That is, working toward justice and peace for all.”
Greg Baker, Ph.D., vice president for Mission at Mercyhurst, also participated in the march. For him, the march was a sign of hope for the future in Erie’s divided community.
“I was pleasantly surprised by the turnout. I thought the cold weather would keep people from going. I found that the energy surrounding Erie’s new mayor was very hopeful,” Baker said. “The diverse community of Erie has found the new mayor to be very inclusive. It points to a bright future in an area that has a history of bad race relations.”
Indeed, the multitude of people in attendance was a sign of change in Erie’s community. Few students went, but those who did enjoyed the opportunity, despite the freezing cold.
One such student was Chris Wagler, a junior Forensic Science major.
“I enjoyed it personally. It was really nice to see different groups of people there,” Wagler said.
For those who did not make it to the march, activities also went on in the Student Union.
The march gave everyone an opportunity to express their passion for social justice.
“It was awesome to see so many people from different backgrounds coming to support MLK’s dedication to social justice,” Nate Myers, a junior Education major, said.