Galvanizing Tomorrow’s Civic Leaders: Marching in the MLK Marade Together

By Sami Helgeson, Public Achievement President and Coach

This was my third year attending Denver’s MLK Marade, and the very first time that we saw sun instead of snow or slush! The MLK Marade—a mixture of parade and march—honors Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his incredible work toward justice and human rights. Students and staff from the University of Denver (DU) have been attending the City of Denver’s MLK Marade for years. This year, for the 34th annual Marade, DU saw a stronger collective presence, with members of the Admissions Team, the Center for Community Engagement to advance Scholarship and Learning (CCESL), Black Student Alliance (BSA), LatinX Student Alliance (LSA), and other student groups gathering to attend the Marade as a larger DU community.


Students Gather at DU ahead of the Marade

The word which best encapsulates my experience at the Marade is community. This was an opportunity for members of various groups passionate about social justice across campus to join together. Beyond that, students, staff, and faculty had the chance to join with the greater Denver community. The morning was filled with an air of solidarity and empowerment, and a sense that there are so many great people fighting the good fight that we don’t get to see on a daily basis. The fight for justice can be draining, but I left the Marade feeling a renewed sense of hope and a drive to continue, knowing that there is an entire community pushing forward together. I hope that in the coming years, DU’s presence at the MLK Marade continues to grow, and that more people have the chance to experience this inspiring gathering in Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s honor.


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