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ASU's 28th annual March on West honors Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy

ASU's annual March on West event, held Jan. 23. Photo by Ellie Borst

January 25, 2019

Around 1,000 students, teachers and members of the community gathered on Wednesday, Jan. 23 to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Arizona State University's 28th annual March on West.

The March on West is one of the events hosted by ASU to celebrate King's examples of leadership through service.

“Dr. King’s legacy of servant leadership is indicative of ASU and our mission of how we bring our community together,” said Colleen Jennings-Roggensack, MLK Committee chair-holder, vice president of Cultural Affairs at ASU and the executive director of ASU Gammage.

Before the march, students from 15 middle schools gathered in classrooms on ASU’s West campus to participate in educational interactive presentations about the history of the civil rights movement and King’s legacy.  

The students then created posters labeled with words such as “freedom,” “liberty” and “justice” to take down to the Paley Gates and recreate King’s march on Washington D.C. in 1963.  

“It’s important to teach the young generation because they are the future,” said Alexandria Murphy, a freshman majoring in international trade and a student volunteer at the march. “They are the ones who are going to make the change.”

After the march, Charles St. Clair, ASU faculty member and four-time Emmy Award-winning director, re-enacted the “I Have a Dream” speech, a tradition St. Clair has been a part of for the past 28 years.

“Throughout history, young people have really been the ones that have brought about change,” said Amanda Jemsek, 8th grade social studies teacher at St. Francis Xavier School. “I always tell my students, I hope they go on to be the changemakers in society.”