Natchitoches’ third Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration March for Justice and Peace was held Monday, January 16. The march began at the Ben D. Johnson Center and proceeded to the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Triangle Park. The marchers were led by members of NSU’s Alpha Phi Alpha chapter who carried a wreath to commemorate the memory of the civil rights leader. Dr. King was a member of Alpha Phi Alpha, joining as a graduate student in 1952 at Boston College. The Alphas were joined by members of other NSU Greek organizations as well as the NSU Chapters of the NAACP and African American Caucus. NSU head football Coach Brad Laird and the NSU football team were joined by fellow athletes from NSU volleyball and basketball teams. Natchitoches Mayor Ronnie Williams marched as he has for the past two years. Natchitoches’ Hog Riders and their motorcycles were at the forefront of the march.
The Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts brought a contingent of 41 students to the event. The march ended at the Dr. Martin Luther King Triangle Park where the brothers of NSU’s Alpha Phi Alpha chapter placed a wreath at Dr. King’s memorial. NSU’s Lifted Voices Gospel Choir made its third appearance at this annual event and performed several selections with their usual superb talent. The main speaker was NSU men’s basketball coach Corey Gipson who gave a truly moving and inspirational talk. The event was organized by the City of Natchitoches, NSU and the Northwestern State University Center for Inclusion & Diversity.