The Reverend France A. Davis speaks at East High School in Salt Lake City on Martin Luther King Day.
(KCPW News) Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, created in 1983, has become an occasion to recognize the highest virtues embodied by Dr. King: equality, justice, civil disobedience, peace, tolerance, diversity.
Passing those virtues off to future generations was the focus today at East High School in Salt Lake City. High school and college students, among other community members, met in the school’s auditorium to rally before a “march for youth.”
Among the speakers was Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker.
“I hope all of us—as we march for youth, as we march for equal opportunity and justice—we’ll take advantage of this day to renew our commitment and help Salt Lake City really achieve the dream that Martin Luther King certainly presented better than everyone,” Becker said.
In keeping with Dr. King’s spiritual roots, many religious leaders from the area spoke at the rally to give an invocation. Pastor Jarrod Lowry:
“We don’t celebrate just a man, and we don’t celebrate just a movement,” Lowry said. “But we celebrate a ministry.” We celebrate one who felt called—deeply called—to walk humbly with his God, but also to seek justice.”
The keynote speaker, France A. Davis, stressed his desire to keep young men and women compassionate through continuing their education.
“We’ve come a long ways, but we still have a long ways to go,” Davis said.
He continued: “So here’s my recommendation: when you get done today, go home. Eat a good meal. Watch the late night news, and at 10:30, crawl in your bed. And toss and turn if you have to, but if you don’t get a good night’s sleep, at about 3:30 tomorrow morning, get up! And say, ‘I’ve got work to do. And I’m going to get out of here and do my part. I’m going to light the corner of the world in which I exist.'”
After Davis’s remarks, attendees marched to the University of Utah. The march was partially in support of the Pastor France A. Davis scholarship, a scholarship for African American college students in Utah.
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