The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News


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Students come together to honor MLK’s legacy

Cam’ron Hardy
Students gather outside of Thomas Hall preparing to march to the MLK Union.

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr’s legacy and his work to improve civil rights, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. hosted the 37th annual Martin Luther King Jr. vigil and program.

Members of the fraternity and other members of the community met in Thomas Hall at 2 p.m.

They wrote phrases and words on posters about civility and peace.

At around 2:15, everyone gathered and began marching to the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union.

They sang different songs along the way including “This Little Light of Mine,” “We Shall Overcome” and “Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me ‘Round.”

When they arrived at the University Union, they met up with other students that were already waiting to make blankets for an event titled The Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service

The event took place from 2 p.m. until 3:30 p.m. Students were invited to make blankets in the Grand Ballroom.

Tyrese Brownlee is a sophomore majoring in health administration who attended the event. He is also a member of Alpha Phi Alpha.

He said that giving back to the community is one of the biggest values that both he and his fraternity hold close to them.

Another value that they hold close to them is uplifting and doing things for the community.

Brownlee said that the vigil was a useful way of bringing the community together.

“I feel like the vigil just really gave us a chance to all come together and just celebrate the movement of us just going forward,” Brownlee said. “Just making strides, and that’s really what it’s all about. Just always moving forward, and that’s really important.”

Brownlee being a part of the organization that hosted the event allowed him to take part in a leadership position.

He said that everyone in the organization wants to be a leader.

“We want to be the first to raise our hands, the first to go out there and do services,” Brownlee said. “So being a leader, it honestly means a lot to me. It just is something that I really pride myself on. It’s one of the principles that I really just feel is important, especially not even just in a college atmosphere, just even in real life.”

Brownlee continued saying that being a leader plays a part in society because he is able to impact the younger generation and motivate them.

Deshaun Streeter, a sophomore majoring in construction management, is also a member of Alpha Phi Alpha.

Streeter said the cause and the movement brought him out to the event. Streeter followed saying that having a movement like this is important because “if someone [doesn’t] step up and start showing interest in things, then nothing is ever going to get done.”

Streeter said the addition of the blanket making event after the vigil was a good idea to bring the campus together.

“It brings the campus together because blanket making is very easy to do,” Streeter said. “It can bring literally a whole bunch of people together, no matter what shade of colored skin, gender, it literally brings everybody together.”


Cam’ron Hardy can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Cam’ron Hardy, News Editor
Cam'ron is a junior journalism major. He previously served news editor and campus editor at The News. 

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