GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — West Michigan organizations marked Martin Luther King Jr. Day with marches and discussions about diversity.
At Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, the Center for Diversity, Inclusion and Equity organized a march around campus that included points where students could stop and read about King’s legacy.
The event was capped off by a keynote address on immigration at the United States’ southern border. Organizers say that issues has deep ties to King’s civil rights fight.
“We feel that he would be concerned with how people are being treated as humans. We’re staying away from the politics of the topic and just looking at people as humans and what’s happening,” said Alicia Lloyd of the equity center. “We’re lucky that we are still connected with the Dominican sisters and they’ve had a firsthand experience of what that is like.”
Grand Valley State University’s silent march in the afternoon was followed by an address from Yusef Salaam, one of the Central Park Five who were wrongfully convicted of murdering a jogger in New York City in 1989 and spent years in prison before being exonerated in 2002.
Salaam will also speak at Fountain Street Church from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. as part of Aquinas’ program.
In Kalamazoo, a memorial walk from the Kalamazoo Transportation Center to MLK Park for a wreath laying will begin at 4 p.m.