Posted on January 28, 2018 by Jana Schwartz

Brianna Denson, a student of the Master of Social Work program, says this time around, she felt more than just another member in the crowd at the Martin Luther King, Jr. March held on Jan. 15, 2018.

Being born and raised in San Antonio, it was sort of an obligation to attend the march each year. This year marks the 3rd time I have participated in the march, and each time that I have participated, it seems as if the crowd has grown exponentially. What was different this time around since I have attended, was that I marched with the university amongst peers who a lot of them were experiencing the march for the first time. Although quiet in chants and clamor, there was an abound amount of curiosity and anxiety about what we were actually doing.

Having just returned from the Civil Rights and Social Justice Trip where we stood in the very church where Martin Luther King gave his last speech, to ground zero where young children and college students just like us protested through the streets of Alabama, and to the very balcony itself at the Loraine Motel where MLK was assassinated, it all felt so surreal. This time marching, I felt as if I was marching in the right direction towards becoming the change that I have vowed since the trip to be a part of creating, than just another member in the crowd.

Another thing that I was glad to see was the diversity of those who were marching, and the causes we were marching for. Not only were there black people marching for the freedom and recognition of black lives, but we marched along Mexican Americans hopeful for freedom and equality for Mexican American lives, LGBTQ representation, Women representation, Native American Representation, and so on and so forth. Although we all marched side by side with privileges that our elders and ancestors marched for to obtain, I, myself have recognized this privilege, and realize that I'm still not comfortable in the world until my privilege becomes a reality for every oppressed group still fighting in the world. This is why I march, and will continue to take action and be a voice of change in my community.

Brianna Denson

— Jana Schwartz