GREEN BAY (NBC 26) — Ahead of Martin Luther King JR. Day on Monday, community leaders from across Brown County came together at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (NWTC) to remember the prominent civil rights leader.
"This happened like a long time ago and we're still marching to this day,” said Eric Gichobi, a middle school student in De Pere.
A virtual celebration Saturday highlighted the message, “The People's March Continues…”.
“Just the past two years have been full with marches such as the black lives matter movement and other movements such alike,” Gichobi said.
Gichobo is a local middle schooler who understands the message of Dr. King's movement very well.
He was even one of the essay contest winners in this celebration.
He says his own personal experiences have influenced his perspective.
"There are times when people refuse to help us. People that are helping another person of another race, they prefer to help them over us, they prefer to assist them over us. Sometimes its not the most fairest thing but my parents have taught me that's something you have to go through sometimes with your race,” Gichobi said.
He strongly believes the people's march is not only a physical movement, but a metaphorical movement as well. One that we all need to join forces and be apart of.
“Because until the day that equality is there for us, the march can't end,” Gichobi said.
The MLK celebration was also filled with singing and dancing from the Washington Fine Arts Choir.
Several speakers took the stage reiterating the message that the march is not over.
"Dr. King was a man who reflected and he was an activist, a messenger carrying the message of many. And today the fight for social justice continues,” Said Mohammed Bey, NWTC Chief Officer for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
"Thinking about the legacy of Dr. King, you have to do a self reflection. Our hope is that through this celebration that each person would take within themselves and examine their own biases and their own characteristics that would cause them to not respect a person with respect and dignity,” said Dr. Corey King, Vice Chancellor for Inclusivity and Student Affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay (UWGB).
Event leaders hoping the public can take away an important message.
To not be silent as we break down the walls of racism and continue to move forward towards a better society.