BYU honors MLK through Walk of Life Commemoration

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1701-22 05 news edit 1701-22 MLK Walk January 16, 2017 Photography by Aaron Cornia/BYU Copyright 2016 BYU Photo All Rights Reserved (801)422-7322
Students and local families walk down the Marriott Center ramps with lit candles to remember the life of Martin Luther King Jr.  (Aaron Cornia/BYU Copyright 2017)

BYU students, faculty and the surrounding Provo community gathered under the Marriott Center Tunnel on Monday, Jan. 16, to participate in the Martin Luther King Walk of Life and Commemoration.

This event, organized by the Multicultural Student Services and the Black Student Union, allowed participants to celebrate this special day by having a candlelit walk towards the Wilkinson Center where a guest speaker, Don Harwell, encouraged everyone to remember Martin Luther King Jr. and what he did.

Coordinator for Cultural Programs for BYU Multicultural Student Services Mario Pereyra talked about how the MLK Walk of Life and Commemoration is a time for our students, faculty, staff and surrounding community to get together and remember the life and legacy of King.

“It started off with our candlelight walk and culminated with a special message from our invited guest and keynote speaker. Here, we had a chance to listen, remember, and recommit to live lives of service and be examples of good to those around us,” Pereyra said.

Ivey Sudweeks, a junior studying environmental science, spoke about how she really liked the idea that BYU does a special event for the community to come and reflect upon the life of MLK.

“It’s an amazing way to end this special day, because the day is so important and we need to honor such an important man,” Sudweeks said.

This year the event moved from the Carillon Bell Tower to the Marriott Center Tunnel because the event has grown in popularity. The event started at the tunnel, with the presenting of the American flag which invited guests to reflect on the history of the country surrounding King. Guests then began to light their candles and walk down the ramps towards the Wilkinson Center.  They were invited to walk in reflection of MLK and what his actions.

The event ended in the Wilkinson Center where guest speaker and President of the LDS Genesis Group Don Harwell commemorated the life of King.

Gretchen Larson, a participant from Centerville, Utah, talked about how MLK day should be a day that is spent with others, with people celebrating him and his life.  She said this event is exactly what should happen on this holiday.

“This day is about noticing things that need to change and doing your best in a small way to help, and this walk helped me see those needs and those changes that I can do,” Larson said.

Many commented on the special experience that this event offered. The candles symbolized the hope and love that King taught. Just like the candles lit at the walk, his words and actions will continue to burn as all remember his sacrifice and service he gave.

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