1 of 13
Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
Marco Barker, associate vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion at Westminster College, leads a chant during a justice, unity and diversity rally and march in Salt Lake City on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Monday, Jan. 15, 2018.

SALT LAKE CITY — "Show them what democracy looks like. This is what democracy looks like," a crowd chanted during a march and rally Monday to celebrate the legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Holli Yoho, a local mother, is showing her children one of the privileges of democracy early on by bringing them to Westminster College's annual march.

"My kids talked about it for like an entire year. It's so great because it's an easy way to get involved in an issue that we feel strongly about as parents," she said.

In a culture often divided by political differences, the spirited group composed of students, members of the local Black Lives Matter group, community members and families — many with children in tow — united to display "how easy it is to come together," marcher Oliver Anderson said.

"I think (marching) is important because it shows that the efforts from generations ago are not done today," he said.

Marc Coles-Ritchie, who has brought his kids to this event for the past seven years, said that he wants them to learn "about Dr. King, his great message and to keep that legacy alive."

"There's a lot of racial bias in our country still. Dr. King did amazing work in helping us begin to overcome that as a society, but there's still a lot to do," Coles-Ritchie said.

Preston Chiaro, a member of Westminster's board of trustees, brought his two dogs along for the march. "I like coming here to show camaraderie, teamwork and support for the college. I enjoy spending time with students," he said. "It's nice to see that they have such a sense of social responsibility."

Yoho summed up the event's significance for those in attendance. "(Equality) is an issue a lot of us can get behind. Especially with the current political climate, it's important to have a voice. I think a lot of us don't know how to do that," she said.

As the march continued along the streets of Sugar House, many people who passed by in cars honked and/or waved at the group in seeming support.

10 comments on this story

The march proved to be a uniting event for the people involved, who later gathered for a group photo and rally on the steps of Westminster's Converse Hall.

Karnell Black, the college's dean of students, said he believes that King's legacy shouldn't be the focus of only one day per year.

"I want to be able to teach the generation that comes after me to know that there are still issues that are impacting our lives every day and that they should stand for something," he said.

Westminster College will host events to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s life and legacy throughout January.