SMU hosts Unity Walk

President R. Gerald Turner walks with students during Thursday’s commemorative unity walk.Photo credit: Christopher Saul


Over 40 students faculty and staff gathered in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Commons to celebrate the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. Thursday.

Others peered over the balconies of the second floor.

Reflections by President R. Gerald Turner, Vice President for Student Affairs Lori White and students D’Marquis Allen, Tien Dang and Sorsha Huff kicked off the celebration.

“We are in a wave of incredible intolerance,” President Turner said in his reflection about the current state of the United States and throughout the world.

“We still have a ways to go and that’s why we march,” White said.

At 12:30 p.m. participants took the celebration from Hughes-Trigg Student Center to the street to commence the unity walk around the Boulevard.

Executive Director of Student Development and Programs Jennifer Jones led the group in six freedom songs including: “We Shall not be Moved,” “Wade in the Water” and “This Little Light of Mine.”

Huff, a sophomore, said she was prompted to become involved in civil rights activities after she participated in the Civil Rights Pilgrimage at SMU.

“[The Civil Rights Pilgrimage] was a really good call to action,” Huff said. “The work for human rights and civil rights is not done until everyone has them. Until then, the march continues.”

SMU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Paul Ludden said he aims to participate in Dream Week every year.

“I believe in the vision of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It’s an evolving story that requires participation of the community,” Ludden said.

A recurring theme present throughout Dream Week was the need to continue the work of Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Let’s keep Dr. King’s dream alive [and] Pony up,” Dang said.

To view pictures of this week’s events search the hashtag #SMUMLK14.

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