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Dream from 1963 impacts community in 2020

Black Student Union members perform for the crowd before they march through Sugar House for the MLK March and Rally Jan. 20. The three members show off their moves and get the crowd excited to march for change, upholding King’s legacy. (Shaylie Johnson)

Westminster College community members rallied Monday morning to march through Sugar House for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Dr. Tamara Stevenson, chief diversity officer, greeted the rally members as they joined at the march. Stevenson commemorated King and his impact on today’s society.

“One of Dr. King’s many profound quotes illustrates how we at Westminster connect his work to who we are and what we do to educate students,” Stevenson said. “To become just and successful graduates through a transformational and accessible learning experience.” 

Westminster community members pose in front of the Converse building before the MLK March and Rally Jan. 20. Members hold up signs and embrace each other, noting the importance of upholding King’s values in today’s society. (Shaylie Johnson)

Following Stevenson, President  Beth Dobkin reiterated Westminster’s role in educating students through the teachings of King and his legacy.

“We march together as an act of shared humanity, solidarity and understanding of the power of collective action and fighting injustice,” Dobkin said. “As you walk today, I ask you to think about what you need to learn, who you need to be and what you need to do to help solve the gravest injustices of our time.”

The march went through Sugar House, with students chanting and reflecting on their reason for marching.

“I wanted to support the continued fight to create a more just and equal society which requires that everyone participates in working in the ways that they can, to uplift those who have been disenfranchised by our systems,” said Rebecca Blanton, a junior peace and conflict studies major. 

Like Blanton, other students expressed their support in participation to fight for minority groups.

“We want to move forward and try and make things better for minorities,” said Bridget Dopp, an environmental studies major. “So, it’s worth getting up […] to support a good cause and fight for something we believe in.”

As community members marched the streets of Sugar House, chants echoed and cars honked in support.

Rally members chant and hold their signs as they march through Sugar House for the MLK March and Rally. Members were escorted through the streets and passing cars honked and cheered as they marched through the streets.  (Shaylie Johnson)

Jade Escobar, a nursing major, said she was there to show people that students actually care and that it’s an important issue. 

”Especially here, since there is such a small community of people of color,” she said. “[It’s] really important to go and show up and support.”

Support poured from the community as people cheered and hollered at the group from their porches and balconies.

Daud Mumin, a first-year student who spoke at the event, said it created a strong sense of unity. 

“The people, united, will never be defeated,” he said. “It is time Westminster, to act, not moderate, but radically, to be revolutionary and change the way we think […] that begins the moment we push for progress, not sit in the status quo.”


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Shaylie Johnson is a junior majoring in communication and minoring in business. She followed the Utah stereotype by getting married young but is determined not to drop out of college to have 6,000 children. Instead, she is a crazy plant lady who is often found at rock concerts or eating whole lasagnas. One day, you'll see her name again as a writer -- who knows what it will be for, but it'll be big.

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