Tarleton celebrates MLK Jr. with Renewing the Dream event

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SPECIAL TO THE FLASH
August 28, 2020

STEPHENVILLE — On August 28, 1963, during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke for civil and economic rights and called for an end to social injustices and racism. Fifty-seven years later, that call echoes across our nation. The Tarleton community focused on renewing that dream by participating in unity walks and through a livestream of the March on Washington keynote address and entertainment. 

This event, created through a collaborative student effort from organizations such as Black Student Union, BOLD, MENtal Freedom, the Organization of Latinx-American Students and the Tarleton Activities Board (T.A.B.), took place on Friday, August 28, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. for a unity walk and from 8 to 10 p.m. for a watch party of the national March on Washington keynote address and entertainment. These students worked in collaboration with the Division of Student Affairs to celebrate alongside the physical march taking place in Washington D. C. and to participate in the 2020 Virtual March on Washington. 

Folks had the option to participate in a symbolic unity march during the time of the D. C. march (2 p.m. Central) on the Stephenville campus. Viewing spaces for the evening’s powerful messages, keynote address and support from award-winning musicians were available at the Stephenville campus.

Events requires face coverings and took place in various locations, learn more by visiting https://tarletonstate.us/MLK57  or contact the Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and International Programs at 254-968-9488 or diversity@tarleton.edu for more information. 

Potential quotes by involved parties:

Student Jayden Owens, a member of the Black Student Union and executive member of MENtal Freedom stated, 

This year’s March on Washington anniversary is more important than ever. It has us reflect further on how far we have come as a society, and even more on how far we still need to go. When we walk in unity, it is not just for publicity, but for a higher purpose: this is for the people who still see themselves as a part of MLK’s dream and for those who continue to make that dream a reality.

Mr. Tiburcio Lince, Director of the Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and International Programs mentions, 

“walking in unity will remind us that the March on Washington was not the end be of racial injustices, socio-economic disparities, and oppression of the most salient/visible identities. 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 other to renew their commitment to that dream of equality.” 

Mr. Darrell Brown, Executive Director of Community Outreach, Student Government, Fraternity and Sorority Life, and Leadership and Service, says, “I’m excited Tarleton students will have an opportunity to demonstrate their support for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s I have a dream speech by marching on the 57th anniversary.”

Dr. Kelli Styron, Vice President of Student Affairs noted, “I am very proud of the collaborative effort our students have shown in leading out on this event and working hard to publicize the true importance of such a march. We were not able to travel to Washington, D.C. due to the quarantine on Texas residents….but I believe our students are showing their determination and fortitude to bring awareness to an issue which is very real in 2020. Our students are the leaders of tomorrow and they want to effect change today. We support their efforts and join with them in remembering Dr. King’s legacy and work.

Mr. James Hurley, President, remarked, “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. Tarleton State University 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 as a nation 57 years ago, and our outstanding students of 2020 remind us of it today. I believe our students are engaged in this unity walk and are leading out on our campuses to highlight the work which is yet to be completed by all of us. I am so proud of our students who are working very hard to bring about change and to lead this campus in remembering Dr. King’s address.”


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Photos by DAVID SWEARINGEN

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