A dream cannot be stopped by a bullet.
A movement cannot die with one man, and Shippensburg University’s Multicultural Student Affairs (MSA) cannot wait to start its 27th annual March for Humanity.
SU’s African American Organization (AAO) partnered with MSA and the Social Equity Office to continue the march that honors Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and all he fought for in his life.
The event will kick off with a rally in the Ceddia Union Building (CUB) multipurpose room this Thursday at 3:30 p.m. There will be speakers from the university as well as representatives of organizations participating in the march. A few faculty and staff members will be honored as humanitarians. The Harmonic Voices of Truth also will perform.
One of the purposes of the march is to honor the past marches of King, Lavell Simpkins, president of AAO said. This will be Simpkins’ fourth and final march at SU as an undergraduate.
After the hour-long rally, participants will gather to begin a peaceful march across campus. The march starts at the CUB and usually moves past Reisner Dining Hall, around Franklin Science Center, past Lehman Library and back to the starting point.
MSA encourages all students to gather and participate in the March for Humanity. This year’s theme, “We Can Not Wait,” is to show that the fight for equality is still not over and that there is no time to waste.
“There are tons of different things that are going on — not only in the black community but in every community that needs to be dealt with,” Cory Layton said at the MSA office. “Like as far as gay rights, as far as people being killed, and then other people not being tried for their crimes,” Layton said.
During a planning meeting on Thursday, Jan. 22, at the MSA office, several students expressed the idea that the March for Humanity is for every person — regardless of race.
“Some students think it’s just a black person thing,” Rasheed Dandridge, the vice president of AAO said “It’s not the fact that black people want their rights, it’s the fact that we all want our rights.”
Inside Gilbert Hall 100 on Thursday, MSA members gathered to listen to Dandridge speak about the upcoming rally. Before the meeting was called to attention, students lounged in chairs, chatting with each other.
Someone called out, “Hey Ms. Di!” when MSA’s director, Diane Jefferson, walked into the room.
Jefferson asked each of the students present to bring 10 people to the march on Thursday. The goal for the march is 300 people.
“I believe that you’re the movers and shakers,” Jefferson said to the crowd of students. As she passed around a basket of pins decorated with King’s iconic visage, Jefferson asked for volunteers to spread the word to various clubs and organizations.
“Shake this earth!” Jefferson told the students.
Jefferson was not content until she felt that every corner of the campus would be reached. For those who hear the message, who hear the call to march, MSA wants people to remember that the event is for anyone and everyone.
“There is a common thread that we are people and we all want the same stuff. We all want to be free, we all want love, we all want happiness,” Marcus Watkins of MSA said, “That’s important to fight for as a collective group of students and faculty.”
If you would like to pledge to march ahead of time, visit pledgebank.com.