Hundreds gather for Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Junior Rally at Nebraska Student Union

Monday was a special day for the participants of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Junior Rally in Lincoln.
Published: Jan. 16, 2023 at 3:50 PM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) -Monday was a special day for the participants of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Junior Rally in Lincoln. Finally after a long wait, the annual event is back in person.

The energy at the Nebraska Student Union was evident. Hundreds of people gathered together for the event for the first time since COVID-19 to remember Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“I’m really excited to see what it is like with all these people,” said Addison Olds, Freshman, Lincoln Southeast. “Because last year, there was probably only the stakeholders and, like, the mayor and a few other people. And it was it was really small. So this year, it’s going to be a big change.”

The rally was led entirely by student scholars. From the young to the old, the message was the same: What can you do to make the world a better place?

“We can inspire you as much as possible,” Olds said. “But it’s you who has to make that change and do something to make a change for the better.”

The theme of the 2023 rally was “MLK to Me.”

“He had such a fierce heart, and compassionate and loving and so strong and so focused and resilient,” said Sandra Washington, City Council, At-Large. “I mean, he had a mission. He knew what his ministry was, he knew what he was here to do. And he just could not be swayed.”

“MLK to me is perseverance and doing the right thing, even when no one’s is watching,” Olds said. “And if you’re never too young, too old, you doesn’t matter your race, gender, you can always do the right thing to make a change.”

The rally featured performances by high school choirs. Students from local middle schools and high schools gave speeches and a performance by the Belmont Elementary Scholars moved the crowd to their feet.

“To just see people out supporting the mission, promotion of positive youth action,” said Peter Ferguson, organizer of the MLK Youth Rally. “That’s, that’s saying something when you can fill a room, and it’s about young people. That’s the way it should be. We keep talking about they are our future. But really, they’re today, they’re today.

Every student reminded the crowd in their own way that ‘we shall overcome,’ and asked them to remember as Rev. Dr. King said, that the arc of moral history is long, but always bends towards justice.

“We want to make sure that it’s not just one day to honor and celebrate and reflect, but it’s throughout the whole 365 days a year,” Ferguson said.