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Eugene, Springfield residents celebrate MLK Jr. Day

Jasmine Lewin
Attendees at the Hult Center.

Today, hundreds of people in Eugene and Springfield celebrated Martin Luther King Junior Day.

The Eugene-Springfield chapter of the NAACP organized a march that started at Autzen Stadium and ended at the Hult Center. Dancers, poets, and activists gathered on stage to perform and give speeches.

Seyum Schaffer has been going to MLK Jr. Day events since he was seven.

“He’s such a staple in the civil rights movement,” Schaffer said. “We need to find a new MLK, we need to find someone who can make the next leap in our community. Not just our community, but the entirety of the United States.”

The Springfield Alliance for Equity and Respect hosted its 25th annual MLK Jr. march and celebration. It began at the Springfield Justice Center and ended with a celebration and speeches at Springfield High School.

Gloria Griffith has helped organize this event for 20 years, in collaboration with the Springfield school district.

"Every year we look at all of his different speeches, we choose a theme,” Griffith said. “And then we send information to all the teachers and invite them to do projects that are built upon the theme. Standing up in challenging times is this year’s theme, and it is from one of his speeches."

Jasmine Lewin joined KLCC as a freelance reporter in 2022. Originally from Portland, Oregon, Lewin wrote for the University of Oregon quarterly magazine Ethos before graduating with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. She likes to spend her free time birdwatching, doing crossword puzzles, and watching scary movies.
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