MLK Unity Celebration at the Civic Center

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Photo provided by Ben Schleiger.

After the Martin Luther King Jr. Day march, a celebration continued the festivities of the holiday at the Union Colony Civic Center.

A charming, yet comical emcee welcomed all who joined the march and, or the celebration.

The day was started with an American Sign Language version of the anthem followed by a unity song to set the tone.

Following with the theme, most of the performances and speeches played off the events motto “Unity begins with you”.

Other popular cover songs of change and acceptance were sung including “Change” by Taylor Swift and “This is me” by Keala Settle.

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Some brief history was read on Dr. King and participants were encouraged to learn more on the civil rights fight by visiting www.thekingcenter.org.

A moving performance from a black theater group and pianist wowed the crowd with an introspective performance on the mind of Dr. King.

The performance touched on the night Dr. King was taken from us and how even he too experienced fear, especially when preaching on Sundays.

The group consisted of a narrator, Dr. King, an angel, and four other actors depicting the internal struggles of the brave leader.

UNC Student President Tim Hernandez made an appearance to read Dr. King’s last speech and give his thoughts on it.

He encouraged crowd participation and people were not shy to clap, snap or praise when they agreed with a line or sentiment.

Hernandez not only livened the crowd, but gave new life to words of the past that still live on today in his passionate reading.

One of the last events of the day was a public comment section where several people got on stage to say what unity meant to them.

A wide range of individuals came up to say their meaning of the message in their own lives.

From student leaders on campus, a foreign exchange student, Rochelle Galindo, an event volunteer, and an elementary age girl.

All of them had a heart warming reason for being there today, even if they personally had experienced opposing views that very day.

One of the event volunteers said she was even more motivated to participate when she was heckled while setting up the march.

A person yelled to her “Why are you still doing this? Aren’t you done yet?” while setting up the marching route early that morning.

The girl did not show that she was phased, but rather even more strongly committed to her cause.

Rochelle Galindo, State District 50 representative, echoed how unity was important and that she would continue the fight.

She promised to stay committed to serving all people of Greeley and continue to progress of unity.

The students, leaders and community members all had valid and compassionate reasons for unity, but a small girl won the show.

An elementary age girl with her handmade sign “We all have Dreams” was the last to have a public comment on unity.

Her simple phrase “Unity to me is when we all see each other as friends” instantly brought the crowd to their feet in complete agreement.

There was no hesitation from the crowd in directly connecting to the innocent and pure message the girl had to offer.

A closing song was sung and the crowd was then dismissed to the lobby for refreshments from UNC catering and encouraged to fill out a unity card.

The cards were simple post cards with the events art work on them and an “I commit” section.

The idea was to fill out a card and give it to someone you trust to hold you accountable for your commitment to unity.

The UCCC is also offering the “Beauty Across the African Diaspora” art exhibit in their Tointon Art Gallery until February 23.

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