ICCSD Celebrates MLK Day with Color of Unity March

Badra Kalil, Reporter

Monday morning, nearly 100 people gathered for the first annual Unity March, sponsored by the City of Iowa City. The march began at Faith Academy, a ministry of a local church, where people designed posters and drank hot chocolate before marching to Grant Wood Elementary in honor of MLK Jr. Day. Before the march began, participants formed a “circle of unity” to show and celebrate the diversity of the people that came together. People then proceeded to march through snow and attempt to stay warm in the windchill of -14°.

While everyone seemed to have their own reasons for marching, a lot of them centered on one common theme: fighting against hate, and pushing towards acceptance.

“I had students who were talking about [the march] at school, so I wanted to show support,” said Christine Lewers, a teacher at City High. “I wanted to be in solidarity with teachers and community leaders, and point out the importance of fighting against hate.”

For some, the march only became more important after flyers advertising a white supremacist group were recently distributed around the area. Preschool teacher Tricia Windschitl was one of these people.

“I wanted to support our community, especially against recent hate flyers in the community,” Windschitl said.

After the march, there were service opportunities and activities at Grant Wood Elementary, as well as some speakers. These speakers stressed the importance of making a difference first on the local level, then expanding to state and federal levels. They also mentioned how MLK Jr. Day was not a “day off,” but rather a day for community service. The speakers and organizers were very proud to see so many people participating in the march, even in the freezing cold. Iowa City is hoping to get an even bigger crowd next year.