March to honor King will begin on UA Mall

By Zach Colick
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Friday, January 13, 2006

Some UA students and faculty are planning to honor Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday on Monday, but they wonder why the holiday doesn't receive more attention on campus.

Though the celebration is small, students and community members will honor King by marching on Monday from the UA Mall to Reid Park, East 22nd Street and North Country Club Road.

"I think that having a holiday that recognizes that change didn't occur easily is important," said Tani Sanchez, an adjunct lecturer in Africana studies. "It was a major time change in our culture."

Though some people may expect the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Student Center, 1322 E. First Street, to organize activities to honor King's birthday, the center's funds go toward student retention and not activities, said Kendal Washington White, acting director for African-American Student Affairs.

White said she doesn't believe improving the situation would normally be a financial burden for the UA but thinks the university is strapped for cash.

"It's reality," she said.

White said she will be attending the march on the UA Mall on Monday and didn't want to discredit what the UA has to offer.

The opening ceremony will take place at 8 a.m., followed by the march at 9 a.m. Participants will march down the UA Mall to North Campbell Avenue, turn south to East Broadway Boulevard and head east until they reach Reid Park around 10 a.m. to celebrate the fallen civil rights activist.

MLK Day is important to celebrate and acknowledge because racism is still prevalent today, said James Din, a senior majoring in entrepreneurship and aerospace and mechanical engineering.

"This is a day of remembrance of all the struggles in the past with racism," Din said. "MLK Day is grandiose not just for African-Americans, but of humankind because he stood up and advocated for all races."

The Tucson MLK Celebration Committee, UA President's Office, Diversity Resource Office, Campus Life, Department of Multicultural Programs and Services, and African-American Student Affairs are sponsoring the event.

Devin Walker contributed to this report.