Marching Towards Equality in Honor of a Dream


WCU participate in memorial march

“No Justice, No Peace!” Students chanted as they marched around the campus of Western Carolina University in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The march was led by Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, Inc. in an annual event they call, “the MLK Jr. UNITY March.”

The UNITY March was created by the Nu Zeta Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, Inc. in 2010. This year, there were over fifty participants, including students, faculty, and Chancellor David O. Belcher and Susan Belcher.

“It is a rallying point for people that have a similar passion for equality,” said David Belcher.

Participants acknowledged that we live in an imperfect, unequal world. That is why they still march.

“We still march because his dream hasn’t been fulfilled, whether sexuality, gender discrimination, or religion. We ask people to come march to pay respect to the dream. We need to wake up. We are living in an equal injustice society,” said Rakim Lash, a member of the fraternity.

The route began at the A.K. Hinds University Center, then continued past Hunter Library, Subway, past the main entrance to the University and ended inside the University Center for a birthday reception in Illusions.

“The Nu Zeta chapter felt that it was a way to create awareness of what MLK Jr. did and what he stood for. Marching was a way to express it on Western’s campus,” said Jamez Ellis, the vice president of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, Inc.

The fraternity members led the crowd holding a large banner that read, Western Carolina University’s MLK Jr. UNITY March, while participants held up posters of Dr. King as they chanted and sang African American spirituals.

“It felt really good to be a part of the march. I have never marched before, so it was very exciting to feel the passion coming from everyone, especially after watching the president getting inaugurated for the second term. It was a very powerful experience,” said Kacy Brown, a junior at WCU.

The march was extended this year to spread more awareness around campus.

Chancellor Belcher among the crowd

“The spirit was done to recreate the feeling of the Civil Rights Movement. Our attire of white shirt, black slacks, black tie, and black suit jacket resemble the official attire of the men that marched in the Civil Rights Movement. Alpha Phi Alpha stands behind it to push it. Not many people know that MLK Jr. was an Alpha himself,” said Lash.


There will be several events on campus during the course of the week to commemorate MLK Jr.