Tarleton commemorates Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1963 March on Washington Speech

Friday, Aug. 28, 2020 Tarleton hosted a unity walk to focus on renewing Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream on the 57th anniversary of the civil rights leader’s iconic “I have a dream,” speech.

On Aug. 28, 1963, during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, King spoke for civil and economic rights and called for an end to social injustice and racism.

“I am so grateful to be president of a university where our students care about making positive change and being part of a transformative period in our nation,” University President James Hurley said. “Tarleton is home to so many students from so many different backgrounds, and it is vital that we never lose sight of how important social justice and equality are.

“Dr. King reminded us of that 57 years ago, and our outstanding students of 2020 remind us of it today. Our students are engaged in this unity walk and are leading our campuses to highlight the work that is yet to be completed by all of us.”

This Tarleton event was organized by the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs, Community Outreach, Student Government, Fraternity & Sorority Life and Leadership and Service, and the Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and International Programs in partnership with MENtal Freedom, Black Student Union, B.O.L.D., and the Organization of Latinx-American Students ,to celebrate this momentous occasion.

The unity walk had Tarleton student leaders recite excerpts from Dr. King’s speeches and their call to action to renew our commitment to the dream. The walk began at the Bandstand in Heritage Park and finished in the Administration Building Mall.

“I want to acknowledge the work the students leaders put forth for this event. We met every week, collaborated together, signed up volunteers, and discussed the need of a program like this. It really resonated to the planning committee when we asked them ‘what do you think the tagline of this event would be?’ and they replied ‘we are still waiting,'” director of Tarleton’s Office of Diversity, Inclusion and International Programs, Tiburcio Lince said. “Having this event on campus gave our student leaders a platform to speak from their heart about the maladies our society faces but despite all that, they wanted a public platform to renew their commitment to the dream for which Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was murdered for. I am so proud of this event and I hope their words inspired others to remain awake but still not forget about the dream.”

“The event went very well. Although it was very hot, student’s faculty and staff showed up to participate, as well as Dr. Hurley,” Executive Director of Student Affairs Outreach, Fraternity & Sorority Life, Darrell Brown, said.

“I thought the event was great. Listening to excerpts from MLK and hearing how his words still carry weight for those still in the struggle of equal rights helped broaden my outlook on the movement in today’s time. It was empowering,” senior digital media studies student, Alex Huerta, said.

Tarleton hosted the National March on Washington Address Watch Party which had a keynote address and entertainment. The Stephenville campus joined in walking at the same time many other universities and groups walked. There was also a viewing space available at the Fort Worth Learning Center for students to watch, there were virtual watch parties will be available for Tarleton Midlothian, Waco, RELLIS-Bryan and Global students.

“Walking in unity will remind us that the March on Washington was not the end of racial injustices, socioeconomic disparities and oppression of the most salient/visible identities,” Lince said. “Eradication of injustice and disparities is a painfully gradual process, and it is why we need events like these to renew our commitment to pursuing the dream. I am so proud of our Tarleton student leaders who are vested in holding our community accountable and providing a space for others to renew their commitment to that dream of equality.”