Rallies Held To Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.
On the day honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, celebrations and rallies took place throughout the Salt Lake Valley.
One of the marches was held at Westminster College. It started at the college and moved through the main streets of Salt Lake’s Sugar House neighborhood. It was small – around 60 people total. They carried signs and chanted.
Dr. Marco Barker participated. He is the Associate Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Westminster. Barker described how he sees the legacy of Dr. King playing out today.
"I think it’s very easy to rest on ‘wow, we’ve made this accomplishment, we’ve now had this person of color in the White House and so we’re at a place where we can move on to the next thing.’ But while we can celebrate this milestone, I think there are still many of the same issues."
The issues Barker is concerned about include inequality in the criminal justice system, the school-to-prison pipeline, and not enough diversity in government and corporate leadership. Things, he said, that are easy to get distracted from.
"Part of that is because I think we’ve been so into the nostalgia of those positive gains that we’ve forgotten some of these other issues," Barker said.
For Barker, recognizing the successes of today have to be weighed against ongoing injustices. "So it’s keeping those things really in mind and being able to consider both."
Other MLK rallies and celebrations took place at St. Jude’s Episcopal Church in Cedar City, Murray High School and Brigham Young University.