OSU and Stillwater Community Unite to link marches in celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy

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STILLWATER, Okla. (KFOR) – Oklahoma State University has an array of events planned to celebrate the powerful legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., including a march that will link up with Stillwater Community United.

OSU’s march in honor of Dr. King will begin at 2 p.m. at the Spears School of Business.

The march will be preceded by brief speeches, including a message from OSU President Burns Hargis, and songs.

The first 200 people in attendance will receive an “I have a dream” face covering, according to an OSU news release.

Stillwater Community United’s march will begin at 12:30 p.m. at Southern Woods Park and continue through downtown, up Duck Street and to the OSU campus, where marchers will hand off a banner to OSU student body representatives outside Spears Business, according to the news release.

Photo goes with story
This “I have a dream” face covering will be given to the first 200 people in attendance for the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. march at OSU.

Caileb Booze, an Edmond, Oklahoma native and senior who recently finished his term as the first Black president of the Interfraternity Council, will also speak during the campus march. Booze hopes OSU students will become equipped with the knowledge and confidence to affect change in their lives and careers.

“I think this celebration is significant because it represents a very intentional response by the university and the greater Stillwater community to recognize its role in achieving effective and meaningful change for all of us,” he said. “We’re having necessary conversations, but we’re not stopping there. We’re taking the next steps and direct action to build real progress and change, not just here at Oklahoma State, but in the world.”

The march will be part of a weeklong celebration of Dr. King. A community service project at the OSU Family Resource Center on Monday morning will be the first event of the weeklong celebration, the news release states.

The weeklong celebration exemplifies OSU’s efforts toward embracing inclusion and combating racism, according to Dr. Jason Kirksey, Chief Diversity Officer and Vice President of Institutional Diversity.

“May we continue to shine as a beacon of light, filled with hope, optimism and elevated expectations within and beyond our campus community,” he said. “[OSU Housing and Residential Life Director] Dr. Leon McClinton and the committee are to be applauded for their willingness to call the OSU community to action through a day of service and the Unity March in collaboration with Stillwater Community United reflects the embodiment of Dr. King’s words and legacy.

”Additionally, expanding the breadth of this weeklong celebration through the [scholarship] essay contest creates a meaningful and transformative community engagement opportunity for the university. Establishing this week of celebration represents the start of a welcomed and meaningful tradition at OSU and within the city of Stillwater.”

McClinton said Dr. King’s legacy is that of unity.

“We are currently living in a society that is divided, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. fought and died for unity. Our students are the future leaders of this country, and I think this celebration can be a catalyst in bringing people with vast differences together,” McClinton said.

The weeklong celebration also includes the following:

  • A virtual keynote address by history professor Dr. Brandy Thomas Wells and the announcement of the essay contest winner for the newly created Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. OSU Scholarship at 7 p.m. Tuesday on OState.TV.
  • A special screening of the movie ‘Selma’, which portrays the movement to secure equal voting rights and the historic civil rights era march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., at 7 p.m. Thursday in The McKnight Center for the Performing Arts. The showing will be simulcast inside the venue and on the adjacent plaza. To maintain social distance, tickets are required and can be accessed through the McKnight Center website. Use the promo code MLK2021 to reserve free seats.

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