UCSD marches in annual MLK event

More than 300 UCSD faculty, staff and students marched Jan. 19 in the 22nd annual King Day Parade to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Sam Scoufos
Guardian

The parade, which included thousands of San Diegans from a variety of schools, churches and community groups, gathered along San Diego’s Embarcadero and traveled along Harbor Drive to honor the slain civil rights leader.

This year marked the 15th year in which UCSD has participated in the parade, and all five colleges, the Preuss School and UCSD Healthcare staff showed support.

“”I think it is important to show the community a united front with total participation from staff, faculty and students,”” said Ann Brady, campus wide event coordinator.

Sam Scoufos
Guardian

The crowd was a sea of diverse faces and ages as the parade made its way down Harbor Drive. Community groups such as San Diego Coalition for Peace and Justice marched alongside Girl Scout troops. Drill teams, law enforcement groups, clowns and marching bands — including UCSD’s Pep Band — took part in the festivities.

The event also drew representation from other schools such as Mesa College and San Diego State University.

The streets were lined not only with marchers, but also with spectators who came to watch the colorful floats stream by. Onlookers set up folding chairs and watched the parade pass by.

“”I think that it is important to keep Doctor King’s dream alive for my son,”” said Nancy Snyder, who held her 1-year-old son, Dillion.

Roger Brown, director of music at El Capitan High School, brought his band students from Lakeside to celebrate King’s birthday.

“”This gives kids a chance to learn more about diversity and about what Martin Luther King did,”” Brown said.

UCSD Chancellor Robert C. Dynes was among the UCSD entourage and expressed a desire to carry on King’s work.

“”We have not yet accomplished [King’s] goal,”” Dynes said. “”It’s important to support and celebrate this holiday and the principles Doctor King believed in.””

Dynes cited the creation of different admission criteria, scholarships to promote diversity, and the UCSD Diversity Council, as programs working to promote a more diverse student body.

Dynes acknowledged the low numbers of underrepresented groups on UCSD’s campus, but said, “”We’re working on it.””

In addition to the participants who carried signs reading “”Civil Rights is Human Rights,”” some attendees took a more festive approach to the parade.

“”I thought it would be fun to come and see a really big parade,”” said Amr Ghanem, a Revelle freshman. “”I’ve never actually seen one.””

UCSD students filled three school buses in numbers greater than organizers had originally anticipated.

“”I think it’s great that all the buses were filled,”” Brady said. “”We were hoping for at least 300, and I think we may have surpassed that.””

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