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Hundreds walk in MLK March in Springfield, pushing for equality and inclusion

Published: Jan. 17, 2022 at 4:43 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Hundreds gathered Monday to honor the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and participate in a march throughout downtown Springfield.

The MLK Day march started at Jordan Valley Ice Park, went over the MLK bridge, and ended at Park Central Square. The event went virtual last year due to COVID-19 concerns.

People from all around southwest Missouri gathered in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“Dr. King and a lot of others put in a lot of work, a lot of blood, sweat, and tears so that we can have days like this,” says Springfield NAACP President Kaijuanda Sutton.

“He made a big impact. What he had to say, his actions, and what he did showed people that he wasn’t in fear,” says Central High School sophomore Sandriana Sanders.

Sutton says the day and the march are about more than just Dr. King. She says it’s about recognizing where the community is at when it comes to racism, inclusion, and equality, and putting a spotlight on it.

“Voting rights, ending racism, police brutality. All those things that we have to fight against every day,” says Sutton.

She explains it’s also about following in Dr. King’s footsteps and asking everyone to get involved for a better tomorrow.

“We still have some challenges, and we need our community to support all of us,” says Lyle Franklin, a speaker at the event and Springfield resident. “To really kind of underscore and undergird this movement so we can continue to move forward.”

“You feel more empowered when you have a whole community of people standing with you,” says Sutton. “And that’s what today was about.”

The community also held the Springfield Multicultural Festival, to showcase the diversity and talent in Springfield. The festival was held virtually and can be re-watched here on YouTube.

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