A commemorative walk through the UCSB campus Friday, Jan. 15, began a long weekend observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. It marks the first of several events in the Santa Barbara area celebrating the 2016 Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.
Participants in “Walk With Us” gathered at the Eternal Flame on the lawn near Buchanan Hall and then followed a course taking them through the breezeway at North Hall to view the murals depicting the Black Student Takeover of 1968. Among those joining the walk were four UCSB alumni who took part in that event, which led to the creation of the Black Studies department at UCSB as well as the Center for Black Studies Research.
The Eternal Flame was a gift from the UCSB class of 1968.
Speaking at the event were Claudine Michel, UCSB assistant vice chancellor for student affairs; Jeffrey Stewart, chair of the UCSB Department of Black Studies; Rev. Doug Miller of the Martin Luther King, Junior Committee of Santa Barbara; Pastor David Moore, a UCSB alumnus; and Marian Dance, a UCSB student.
The walk concluded at Mosher Alumni House, where the UCSB Alumni Association hosted a lunch reception co-sponsored by the Alumni Board of Directors’ Diversity Committee.
“The Eternal Flame is a representation of the spark we each carry in our hearts for the ideals of Dr. King and for the work of other martyrs,” said Sojourner Kincaid Rolle, community outreach coordinator for the Center for Black Studies Research. “It is so important that we honor the past and acknowledge the impact that the work done then impacts the work we do now. We will walk in honor of those who came before us and those who continue to work for a just and peaceful society.”
UCSB co-sponsors of “Walk With Us” include the UCSB Alumni Association, the Center for Black Studies Research and the Department of Black Studies. Also serving as co-sponsor is the Martin Luther King, Jr. Committee of Santa Barbara. The committee is co-organizing a variety of events in celebration of the 2016 Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. The organization’s mission is to foster positive relationships among the many diverse groups in the Santa Barbara community and the surrounding areas.
A complete calendar of events can be found at www.mlksb.com/calendar.