The 36th Annual MLK March for Humanity in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is a cherished tradition at Shippensburg University. This year marked a special occasion for the event as the campus community was joined by Pennsylvania Speaker of the House Joanna McClinton.
Organized by the African American Organization (AFRO-AM) and the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs (MSA), the March for Humanity took place in the Old Main Chapel on Tuesday. In addition to Speaker McClinton, the event featured speeches from several figures around campus, including President Charles Patterson and Manuel Ruiz.
AFRO-AM President and Student Government Vice President of Internal Affairs Kennedy Holt initiated the event with a prayer for peace, emphasizing King’s teachings, “Despite the trials before us today, we, together as a people and a nation, must persist forward and prevail together. For we are a resilient people, a working people, and, in the wise words of one of history’s unparalleled visionary leaders, you can kill a revolutionary, but you cannot kill a revolution.”
Holt also addressed the ongoing war in Gaza, expressing regret for remaining silent and complicit. Patterson’s speech called for an end to hate and discrimination on campus, emphasizing the campus as a microcosm of society and the ongoing need for efforts to combat racism.
McClinton delivered a powerful speech that brought the crowd to its feet. She emphasized that King’s dream has yet to be fully realized and spoke passionately about breaking down barriers and ensuring democracy for future generations.
“Many are committed to say the dream that some might have thought was realized when President Barack Hussein Obama was elected recognize that Dr. King's dream has yet to be realized. We still have so many barriers to go. We still have so many doors to knock down. We still have to make sure that the nation and here in Pennsylvania, I'm personally selfish because it's where our nation was birthed that the democracy that was started 250 years ago is here for your great great grandchildren.”
Following McClinton’s speech, attendees were given signs and banners for the march from Old Main to the CUB, concluding with a brief word from MSA Director Diane Jefferson.