GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – Churches, organizations, and leaders here in the East honored Martin Luther King Jr. Day with a march and rally.
On Monday, organizations, leaders, and community members joined together at Thomas Foreman Park in Greenville to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.
Officials said events like this are important to remember what the days are about.
“I heard someone the other day say it’s not a day off it’s a day on,” Greenville Police Chief Ted Sauls said. “It’s a day in, meaning all of us in one place.”
People marched from the park to the Pitt County Courthouse. At the courthouse, the community sang and praised, and leaders spoke about equality, freedom, and unity, something many feel is still missing today.
“If Dr. King were here, if he were alive, he would be marching,” Coalition Against Racism Co-Chair Don Cavellini said. “He would be very disappointed that we haven’t made the progress that we want and we need.”
One of the organizers was the Pitt County Coalition Against Racism. They call themselves a community-based organization building a movement for progressive change against patterns of discrimination and racism. Cavellini says while they have been active for 28 years, work still needs to be done.
“We talk about power, we talk about moving in the street, we talk about building a movement,” Cavellini said. “It’s not one day, it’s a movement. We need people to be on the battlefield every day fighting for justice.”
That fight, still today with a focus on equality.
“The fight is still the same it’s no different than it was before,” Former president of Southern Christian Leader Conference Rufus Huggins said. “All we’re trying to do is have equal rights and equal opportunities.”
The MLK march and rally have taken place for over 20 years and community members hope there are many more to come.