VSU hosted a series of events in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., ending with a march and candlelight vigil Wednesday night.
Students met outside the University Center and sang spirituals on their march down to West Hall at 5 p.m.
VSU NAACP, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Mu Omicron Chapter and the Office of Social Equity hosted the event. Members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. were also present.
Candles were provided for those who attended.
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and NAACP member Robert Jordan opened with a speech entitled, “We Still March.” The issue of equality in the criminal justice system was highlighted.
VSU NAACP president DeAndre Jones read his poem, also titled “We Still March.” He mentioned the Troy Davis trial as well as his hopes for future change in America.
“The opportunity to plan the event to celebrate the legacy of a man who contributed so much is just an honor,” Jones said. “It is the first march Valdosta State has had ever and it is an historic event.”
Interim president Dr. Louis Levy addressed the issue of social and economic equity before APA members joined together to sing in unison with a dedication song and prayer.
Rev. Floyd Rose spoke about the NAACP expansion in the city of Valdosta after having the crowd repeat words of motivation, sending the event with a prayer.
African American Studies showed Tavis Smiley’s movie “STAND,” prior to a panel discussion.
“STAND” centers around Memphis, Tenn., 40 years after Dr. King’s assassination and showed in the Student Union Theater Jan. 11 at 7 p.m. with a follow-up panel on Jan. 12 at 9:30 a.m. at the University Center Theater.
The “STAND” website has more information on the film: standthemovie.com/home.htm.
Director of the Office of Social Equity Maggie J. Viverette knows that the country came far with Dr. King but still has a ways to go.
“I believe that he succeeded in changing the lives of all Americans but I also believe that there is still much that has to be addressed and accomplished and the students of today will play a significant role in forging a path for the country,” she said.