By Lillian Bowe
PNT staff writer
This year on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the Portales Cultural Affairs Committee and Eastern New Mexico University will be working together to celebrate the day.
Draco Miller, director of campus life, said this year is the first time the program will be held on ENMU campus as the program has previously been held at Portales High School and the Memorial building.
Another change of the celebration is the time of the program, which is previously been held in the morning and now be in the evening.
“We wanted to involve more people in the celebration and we will see how it works,” said Veda Urioste, deputy city clerk and member of the Portales Cultural Affairs Committee.
Urioste said the marchers will walk from the Memorial Building to the MLK tree at 5 p.m.. They will be given finger lights to hold while they march.
ENMU students and staff who want to participate in the march will also be given transportation to the Memorial building at 4:30 p.m. in front of the Administration building.
After the march, the program will move to the ENMU Campus Union Ballroom at 6 p.m. where there will be a panel discuss, a choir performance and a scholarship and award ceremony.
Members of the panel consist of Chester Haughawaut, Portales resident, Geni Flores, ENMU professor, Kimberly Greene, executive director of the New Mexico Martin Luther King Jr. State Commission, and Halle Pitman, ENMU student.
This year the panel discussion features participation from Sara Hunton’s fourth grade class at Valencia Elementary, who will ask questions of Steven Gamble, ENMU president.
The choir will be a compilation of singers from the choirs at Portales High School and ENMU. It is the first time the schools has combined for the celebration.
Oscar Robinson, city councilor and cultural affairs member, said Portales has held the MLK program for 25 years and it is a reminder of the justice that Martin Luther King Jr. sought.
“It is a day of brotherhood and community,” Robinson said.