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This item originally appeared in the Jan. 22, 2004, issue of The Tech Talk.

By ERIN HOPKINS

Staff Writer

In memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the university's annual Unity March and Martin Luther King Jr. Ecumenical Observance was held Monday at the Ruston Civic Center in conjunction with the city of Ruston.

"It's not a day off, but a day to honor Dr. King and remember why you have the day," Mert Douglas, director of Multicultural Affairs, said.

The "Being Faithful to the Dream" march started at the Tech softball field parking lot. It proceeded through Ruston and ended at the Ruston Civic Center, located at 401 N. Trenton St.

"The march is just a peaceful way of showing unity within the community," Douglas said.

The observance included music from the Rainbow Covenant Choir and various speakers. The keynote speaker was the Rev. Clifford E. McLain, pastor of Little Union Baptist Church in Shreveport and former pastor of Zion Traveler Baptist Church in Ruston.

The Rainbow Covenant Choir, composed of singers from Ruston-area singing groups and church choirs, was created specifically for this program.

The planning committee for this observance program was comprised of people from the community and the university. Douglas was the chairperson for the planning committee.

"I asked people who I knew had something to offer to the program," Douglas said. "I wanted a diverse committee with new and diverse ideas."

Lunch was provided by the planning committee for the public. Corporate sponsors, consisting of Wal-Mart, located at 1201 N. Service Road E.; Community Trust Bank, at 1511 N. Trenton St. and Ruston Building and Loan, at 505 N. Vienna St., each contributed $200 or more for this program.

Ruston Ford and Lincoln Mercury, located at 901 N. Service Road E.; County Market, 101 W. Arizona Ave.; Super One Foods, 1500 N. Trenton St. and Bank One, 400 N. Trenton St., also contributed cash, goods or both.

People from the Ruston community, Tech and Grambling State University participated in the program.

"We have representation from both universities, Lincoln Parish area schools and Ruston," Douglas said. "It's a good representation of what Dr. King stood for.

"Our goal is to embrace the diversity of our community."


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