MLK’s legacy reigns on within Ellensburg community

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MLK’s legacy reigns on within Ellensburg community

Scott Wilson, Staff Reporter

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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s actions have impacted all of us since his passing in 1968. The  Ellensburg community will not let his work be forgotten, and groups at CWU are doing what it takes to pass on his greatness to upcoming generations.  

Andre Dickerson, program director of Center of Leadership and Community Engagement (CLCE), explained the intent of the event.

“We want to help the young kids grow in appreciation for diversity and recognize we are different in many ways, but those differences should not create a division.”

CLCE and the Diversity Equity Center (DEC) will be running the “Make A Difference” program where the two programs bring in students from second to fifth grade from Mount Stewart Elementary and teach them about the importance of diversity and inclusion with a focus on Dr. King. The kids will be engaged in activities like plays, group discussions, writing, crafts and games along with performances by a band and choir. There will also be a campus wide peace march open to students and the community.

Sydney Riel, student leader for the program, explains that the goal of the event is for students to gain knowledge on what King Jr.’s life was about and to explore topics like stereotypes, racism, and current world issues in a fun and interactive way.

Specifically, Riel wants the kids to understand that King devoted his life to spreading peace across the world, and that they can do little things in their everyday lives to promote the peace he fought so hard for.

Nate McMillion, program planner from DEC, explains that everything King stood for still influences current generations.

McMillion says that it is important for the kids to learn how King’s message pertains to them. Instilling why he is important and how he still affects them today will show them what he fought for.

The event has been going on for about 10 years now and has received positive feedback every year. Teachers and parents who participated have done surveys and let program directors know how great the event was and how big of an impact it has had on the students and the school.

Dickerson wants the kids to walk away knowing that one person can make a difference by promoting social change through diversity and inclusion.

The event takes place on Jan. 16 and 17 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the SURC Ballroom. The second and third graders will be there on Wednesday, and the fourth and fifth graders will be there on Thursday.

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