UCA students host silent march and recognize National Day of Racial Healing

Dozens of students, faculty, staff and administrators at the University of Central Arkansas participated in an annual silent march across the campus, followed by a short ceremony at the steps of Old Main. 

Students for the Propagation of Black Culture (SPBC) organized the event. SPBC is the oldest non-Greek recognized student organization at the University of Central Arkansas. The group strives to promote unity between Black culture and the community. 

Following the walk from Crafton Alumni Pavillion to Old Main, President Houston Davis challenged the walkers to follow King’s lead in making a positive difference. 

“Right now, we’re all gathered together here on this spot here front of Old Main, honoring the legacy of a man who worked every single day to shape his world into something better than he found it,” Davis said. “What can you do with your talents, time and resources? Dr. King said no work is insignificant. All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.”

Chris Jones, physicist and former gubernatorial candidate, echoed Davis’ sentiment. 

“Whether you are a professor staff or a student, your time in this season can and will be impactful if you let it,” Jones said. “We are all connected. As a person of faith, I believe that we are connected spiritually. As a person of science, I believe that we are connected physically. As I think about that, I encourage you to ask yourself, ‘How can I strengthen and maintain the network beyond the season?'”

Jan. 17 is also National Day of Racial Healing. Since 2017, the day has been observed every year on the Tuesday following Martin Luther King Jr. Day as an opportunity to unite people in common humanity and inspire collective action to create a more just and equitable world. 

Students in the School of Communication’s multicultural public relations course started conversations with classmates and community members through an online form asking, “How will you take action toward racial healing?” 

Jeromy Hunt Jr, a junior public relations major, serves as the public relations officer for the SPBC and is a student in the multicultural public relations course.  

“People said they would reach out to friends and classmates to start a meaningful conversation,” Hunt said. “It’s been an amazing impact so far, and I can’t wait to see all the results.”