Students remember Martin Luther King Jr.

Powerful spoken pieces make up elements of the 2022 Youth Rally

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – As always on this third Monday of the month, America celebrates MLK Day, although Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday was on Saturday. He’d have been 93 years old.

“People think that’s been a long time”, says Peter Ferguson. “Really, that’s not that long ago.”

Ferguson is the adult advisor for the MLK Youth Rally, so he’s been working with students from Lincoln and beyond to put together some powerful pieces for today. “We have the fortunate opportunity to be engaged with a fully-run youth opportunity that does some reflection”, he says.

That consists of reflection on the past, of course, but for many, looking to the present is hugely important.

Alaa Ismail, a Lincoln High senior, says she wouldn’t have even thought of doing something like this a few years ago, but now, “I thought it was a great chance to really put myself out there and share my voice in a really important message”.

Ismail’s goals are to empower herself, other youth, and to stand up for what is right. Current experiences can play just as much a role as history does in that task.

Reem Ahmed deals with the present in her piece, in which she speaks about microaggressions. She says, “A lot of the ones I do mention in my piece are ones that fellow students like me, or adults, or anyone in the community has experienced.”

Whether it’s old history or something more recent, the message stays the same: justice, civility, equity, and kindness. After all, isn’t that what today is all about?

If you’d like to view the rally in its entirety, check out this link.

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