Several hundred marchers gathered in Eugene today to honor Martin Luther King Junior.
Speakers including Lane County NAACP president Eric Richardson and Congressman Peter DeFazio kicked off the event. Dr. King’s words “darkness cannot drive out darkness only light can do that,” had impact on the bright sunny morning. Several participants thought the race and equality issues of the past year brought energy to this year’s holiday. Eva Bertoglio is a student from Newberg:
Bertoglio: “Any Martin Luther King Day is a day to serve and to think about social justice, but particularly in light so many of the really troubling events that have been happening, I think that there’s more momentum.”
Leah Dunbar attends the march every year with her family. She agrees there’s heightened awareness:
Dunbar: “This moment, of course, is significant, in that finally, unfortunately it seems as if the whole country is looking at systemic injustice in the justice system and how it disproportionately affects black people.”
The march kicked off a day of events including a program at the Shedd Institute and an afternoon march from the Springfield Justice Center. Actress and activist Holly Robinson-Peete is the keynote speaker at a celebration on the LCC campus tonight at 6:30.