Crowd marches to Wyoming Capitol to commemorate MLK Day

by The Associated Press
published January 19, 2015
Casper Star Tribune

Sergio Maldonado of the Northern Arapaho Tribe, at podium, addresses a crowd in front of the Wyoming State Capitol in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr., Day in Cheyenne on Monday. State officials, seated to the left are, Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow, Secretary of State, Edward Murray, Cheyenne Mayor, Richard Kaysen and Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead. (AP/Ben Neary)

CHEYENNE — Scores of marchers gathered Monday at the Wyoming Capitol to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr.

King was 39 when he was gunned down in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1968. Monday was the 33rd year that the Love and Charity Club in Cheyenne has staged a march in King’s honor.

“Many people thought they could kill the dream by slaying the dreamer,” Rita Watson, with the Love and Charity Club, told the crowd. “But they were wrong. Dr. King’s dream lives on, and we must keep marching.”

The Rev. Audette Fulbright, of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Cheyenne, said the nation still has much to do to realize King’s dream.

Fulbright noted that too many young blacks go from failing schools directly into the prison system. And she noted the lack of action by the criminal justice system in the aftermath of several recent killings of unarmed black men.

Sergio Maldonado, of the Northern Arapaho Tribe, said he dreams today about racial equality in Wyoming that includes gender equality and equality of access to health care.

While Wyoming calls itself the Equality State, Maldonado emphasized that “equality begins in the heart” before it can be transmitted into public policy.

Maldonado said that when he looks at his grandchildren, he doesn’t see them in terms of having the having the blood of their Mexican, American Indian and other ancestors.

“This is what we have to put into our kids,” Maldonado said. “If somebody needed blood right now, we could all share the blood.”

Public officials including Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow, Cheyenne Mayor Richard Kaysen, Gov. Matt Mead and Secretary of State Ed Murray attended Monday’s event.