About 750 members of the CSU and Fort Collins community marched from Old Town Square down College Avenue to the Colorado State University Campus in freezing temperatures Monday – and their numbers swelled to about 1,000 inside the Lory Student Center – in celebration of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., his life and his legacy.
Marchers ranged in age from babies in strollers to their grandparents. Some carried signs emblazoned not only with quotes from King but also “Black Lives Matter” and images of victims of the police shootings that have sparked outrage across the country in the past year.
David Williams, senior pastor at the Abyssinian Christian Church in Fort Collins, addressed the crowd at the beginning of the march, calling on them to embrace their responsibility to act in facing the racism and oppression that still persists today.
At the LSC, CSU President Tony Frank addressed the ongoing struggle against racism as well, outlining the University’s commitment to inclusiveness and to treat all students, faculty and staff with dignity, respect and justice.
The indoor event also featured the winners of the Poudre School District art and essay contest, performances by the Fort Collins Citywide Choir, the Fale Drum Group and Arisson Stanfield, winner of the college spoken-word contest, and a proclamation by Fort Collins Mayor Wade Troxell.