Baylor students and Waco residents celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday by participating in events throughout the community.
Zeta Phi Beta sorority and Phi Beta Sigma fraternity hosted their annual march at the Waco Suspension Bridge and wreath laying ceremony at Martin Luther King Jr. Park. Attendees walked across the suspension bridge, singing “We Shall Overcome” and gathered to hear community members speak prior to the wreath laying ceremony.
“It’s a time for us to energize people, get people involved in the work of social justice in Waco,” said Dr. Peaches Henry, president of the Waco NAACP and assistant professor at McLennan County Community College.
Henry said there’s a difference in honoring Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a day of service, rather than just a day to remember. This, she said, is because of King’s sacrifice and as well as all who fought for social justice during the Civil Rights Movement.
“We remember [Martin Luther King Jr.] because of the service and the work he did and so we want to make sure that people are not just relaxing on his day, but they are continuing to carry on his legacy,” Henry said.
Over 300 Baylor students and community members also volunteered all around Waco, according to a Baylor University press release. The volunteers worked in gardens and helped with maintenance for the project, which was sponsored by Campus Kitchen and the Heart of Texas Urban Gardening Coalition.
Georgetown senior and Baylor Community Garden manager Madison Stewart said it was exciting to see people volunteering in the garden since she first discovered Campus Kitchen and their work in the community when she volunteered on Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a freshman.
“What we want today is just to honor Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy by giving back and… investing in this community and being able to feed people by all the work we’re doing today,” Stewart said.
Paris junior Jordan Williams also participated in the opportunity to work in the garden and give back to people with food insecurities.
“It shows that were thankful for what [Martin Luther King Jr.] did and what the whole Civil Rights Movement did… Giving back is just a better way of thanking them,” Williams said.
Events to honor Martin Luther King Jr. will continue through Wednesday and include a celebration at the Bobo Spiritual Life Center and events hosted by the Department of Multicultural Affairs. More information is available at Baylor.edu/diversity.