Marching for Martin Luther King Jr.

2015 MLK Jr. Day March

2015 MLK Jr. Day March

Erin Jenkins, Editor-in-Chief

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On January 19, 2015, the community of Lafayette, Colorado held their tenth Annual MLK March for Peace and Celebration. Emma Piller, a senior at Centaurus High School, is a part of the Lafayette Youth Advisory Committee (LYAC) that organizes the MLK Jr. Day March every year. Piller, along with Abby Schmid, Eden Piller, Haley Ettinger and Fiona Grimard, were MC’s for the march this year. “In elementary school, [Abby Schmid and I] were part of “Los Ninos de Paz” and we organized the first march in 2005,” said Piller. Now Piller and Schmid are co-chairs for the LYAC and were very instrumental in the success of this years march.

This year, the march started off at the Lafayette Rec Center, and concluded in Lamont Does Park.“Our program began with a choir similar to the one Martin Luther King Jr. had in his church,” said Piller, “a choir who has participated in our event for six years now.”  The crowd held signs and had matching t-shirts and they chanted as they marched. “We had the marimba band Jack Jackson is in, called the Shamwari Tamba, play for us while we all marched,” said Piller.

The march had many speakers and performers such as an acapella group from CU and a poet named Tolu, who came from CU as well. The poetry reading was Piller’s favorite part, “She immigrated from Africa to come here and is an Engineering student at CU. Her words on racism and her journey were so powerful and she silenced the crowd. She was the sweetest person to meet and it was an honor to have her,” said Piller. There was also food and informational tables set up by local groups such as Project YES. There were also several “Do You Know Who I Am” speakers, which are “a series of dramatic monologues from the perspective of Mexican immigrants in America,” according to Piller.

This years march was very successful, and it had a few variances between this year and past years. “I think the atmosphere was so much more energetic and inviting this year,” said Piller. It was also a very nice day, which was lucky, and there was something for everyone. “I also think our program was incredibly powerful too,” said Piller. “We had speakers and performers who delivered importance messages on issues we still face today as well as shared a diverse range of cultural experiences.”

The 2015 Martin Luther King Jr. March was a huge success, and will hopefully continue to grow in the future. “I feel we have made a really big impact and I enjoy looking for new opportunities to improve it,” said Piller. You can help improve it by showing up to the march next year!

Photo of the first MLK Jr. Day March 10 years ago  Courtesy of Emma Piller

Photo of the first MLK Jr. Day March 10 years ago
Courtesy of Emma Piller

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