The 17th annual community march celebrating the life of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. will begin with a rally at the King statue on the east mall at The University of Texas at Austin at 9 a.m., Monday, Jan. 18.
William Powers Jr., president of The University of Texas at Austin, and Liam O'Rourke, president of the university's Student Government, will provide the welcome. The event will include performances by the Innervisions Gospel Choir, God's Anointed Next Generation and the winner of the MLK Oratory Contest from a local elementary school. Kyle S. Clark, founder of MasterPeace Solutions and president of the university's Black Faculty and Staff Association, also will speak. Wilhelmina Delco, former speaker pro-tem of the Texas House of Representatives, will be the grand marshal from the statue to the Capitol. The march will continue from the Capitol to Huston-Tillotson University, 900 Chicon St., where a community festival will be held.
The Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration has drawn up to 15,000 people, according to the Austin Area Heritage Council, which coordinates events. The celebration events are sponsored by multiple community organizations, including the university's John L. Warfield Center for African and African American Studies and the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement.