Nearly 48 years after the death of Martin Luther King Jr., the Ogden community gathered together at the Marshall N. White Community Center on Martin Luther King Jr. Day to honor his memory and to talk about his impact on the country.
“It’s important to have at least one time a year to visit issues of race,” said Utah ACLU strategic communication manager Anna Brower. “It’s nice to think about how far we’ve come, but also so we can think about what work there still is to do.”
Brower was at the center as a speaker for the day’s events, which included a complimentary breakfast, a panel of speakers and a reenactment of the 1963 March on Washington that was led in part by King.
“He had the ability to unite men and women across different races and many different backgrounds,” Brower said.
Roy resident Robin Stephens said that she felt showing up to remember King and his work was a civic duty to her.
“(King) stood for equality for all people.” he said. “He got men to work together to bring justice for everyone.”
King had a large impact on the black community in the United States, but some of the people at the event felt that his work affected all minority communities.
“Martin Luther King is very inspirational to me and my family because not only were (African Americans) affected by him but Mexicans and other cultures and ethnicities were affected too,” said Diego Sanchez, a student at Weber Basin Job Corps. “It’s important to honor him because without recognizing what happened in the past we’d be doomed to repeat it.”
As those at the event remembered King’s legacy, they also talked about the state of the country today and how more work needs to be done to continue down the path King started on.
“What I’d like to see change is the mentality that someone else is the cause of all the problems in America,” Sanchez said. “The reality is that discrimination still exists and America needs to rally together rather than blame one group for its problems.”
It is important for the country to come together and continue to fight for equality for everyone, says Stephens.
“We can work on equality,” he said. “That men from all races, creed and color will work together to continue this legacy that Martin Luther King (Jr.) created.”