Fresno Marchers Gather in Celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.’s Legacy


Photo by: Paulina Rodriguez

People hold signs and gather around Fresno City Hall on Monday, Jan. 15, 2018 to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. and his legacy.

Hundreds of people, including the Fresno City College president, marched through downtown Fresno on Jan. 15, amidst frigid conditions for the 34th annual Martin Luther King Jr. remembrance march.

The event was organized by the Martin Luther King Unity committee, and included a special performance from a dance group from King Elementary School.

Participants gathered at St. John’s Cathedral, and sang “We Shall Overcome” as they made their way over to Fresno City Hall. Speakers used Martin Luther King’s legacy to remind gatherers of the immense amount of work, and courage needed to fulfill King’s dream.

Fresno City college president Carole Goldsmith spoke at the march and decided to deviate from King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech. Instead, she highlighted King’s fight against poverty, housing segregation and educational inequality.

Goldsmith placed an emphasis on King’s nonviolent approach towards civil disobedience.

She celebrated King’s ability to include people from different backgrounds into the civil rights dialogue.

Fresno City Council Member Oliver Baines said he would do away with political correctness as he addressed the crowd. He denounced President Trump, and urged Republicans to stand against him.

Baines highlighted another civil rights leader in his speech – Rosa Parks. “In 1955 Rosa Park sat down,” Baines said, “In 2018, we got to stand up.”

Baines encouraged the crowd to stand up for undocumented immigrants, the LGBTQ community, and against racial injustice, which sparked cheers from the crowd.

Other notable speakers included Rep. Jim Costa, police chief Jerry Dyer, and State Center Community College District trustee Eric Payne.

They all echoed the same sentiment; the work is not over.