South Dakota State University's Independent Student-Run Newspaper Since 1885

The Collegian

South Dakota State University's Independent Student-Run Newspaper Since 1885

The Collegian

South Dakota State University's Independent Student-Run Newspaper Since 1885

The Collegian

SDSU hosts second annual marade

After a month delay due to extreme low temperatures in January, the 2nd annual Martin Luther King Jr. Marade was finally able to take place this past weekend here on the SDSU campus. 

People from the campus and community came to the Student Union Monday February 19, 2024, to celebrate the life and legacy of MLK with a rally and marade. A marade is a combination of a march for a cause and a parade, a concept that has been around for a few decades, and is now viewed as a way to celebrate and bring unity to communities. 

Shelly Bayer, the director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs and Accessibility (OMAA) for SDSU was a main focal point for people while planning this event. OMAA began the process of planning the marade back in July of 2023, from permits for the marade itself and lining up the keynote, Rev. France Davis, and other speakers such as the Brookings mayor. 

“While it was disappointing to have to reschedule, we are so grateful for the ability to reschedule and still have almost everyone there who would’ve been originally,” Bayer said. 

Everyone was excited for Rev. Davis to give the keynote speech this year, according to Bayer. Not only because Rev. Davis has a personal connection with Jay Molock, a student success advisor here on campus, but he also heard MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speech, along with a few others as well.  Rev. Davis also had the opportunity to march with MLK and interview him for an article in his campus newspaper. 

Dallas Kelso is currently a junior here at SDSU, majoring in English education and American Indian and Indigenous studies with a minor in history. She also is the current president of American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES). She was an emcee for the event, and heavily involved with the setup and execution of the entire rally and marade. 

“Even with the rescheduling of the rally and marade, our goal was to get as many people here and involved as possible still, and I think we accomplished that,” said Kelso during the intermission. 

The entire event included speeches from President Barry Dunn, Brookings Mayor Ope Niemeyer, Michelle Huh, who is a Brookings high school student, and Rev. Davis being the keynote, prior to the marade. After the one-mile marade across campus, attendees enjoyed refreshments during the intermission and second half of the event. During the second half of the event, speeches were given from multiple different students, one being Trinity Peterson, the current Students’ Association President. 

 Dunn spoke again this year at the rally, where he shared what he had learned in the past year about MLK, and then challenged all attendees to once again, take the year to learn at least one new thing about MLK. 

John Akujobi, an SDSU student, found the rally and marade the past two years especially inspiring. He found that he has learned more history a person wouldn’t typically learn in school, and hearing it from so many different voices was enlightening. 

“President Dunn challenged us, both last year and this year, to learn something new and since I am not originally from the United States, that challenge has allowed me to learn so much,” Akujobi said. 


OMAA is  grateful for the unity and inspiration this rally and marade has brought, not only to campus, but to the Brookings community as well. They hope to continue this celebration for years to come, as it’s inspiring to see the impact it has on both the campus and community, where people continue to show up and care. 

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