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#PioneersUnite

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#PioneersUnite is a campaign that values diversity and being an up stander against incidents of hate, bias and disrespect. The campaign took last week to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy and the 50th anniversary since his tragic assassination.

On Tuesday, April 3, assistant professor of English Dr. Phillip “Pip” Gordon led a group of students in the reading of Martin Luther King’s “I’ve been to the Mountaintop” speech. The students consisted of members from the Black Student Union, Latino Student Union and Sigma Tau Delta, the English Honor Society.

Wednesday, April 4, was the MLK luncheon which featured keynote speaker assistant professor in ethnic studies Dr. Frank King. Closing those events was the Pioneers Unite March, held in the Nohr Gallery and led by the director of Diversity and Inclusion Angela Miller. The march embodied a diverse group of students and faculty members and was followed by a student drummer.

The attendees had a chance to gather after the march and discuss the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. Many attendees took the time to express how major concerns in America, such as mental illness, gun control, racism and poverty, mirrored Martin Luther King Jr.’s fight for a better world.

Gordon took time to share his experience of seeing Martin Luther King Jr.’s demonstration of protest and action imitated by students now and in the past.

Assistant professor of biology Richard Dhyanchand spoke words of encouragement during the march. He shared a popular Martin Luther King quote, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice”, which encouraged hope and faith in humanity.

The program closed with Miller thanking faculty and staff and student organizations for participating in the #PioneersUnite Martin Luther King Jr. week and expressed a call to action to those looking to be a part of the #PioneersUnite.

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