JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. broadcast that initially didn’t air due to technical issues was rebroadcasted on KLEK 102.5 FM Tuesday afternoon.
The program included several guest speakers, including Arkansas State University Chancellor Dr. Kelly Damphousse, former state Sen. Tracy Steele, and the MLK Singers.
Damphousse addressed students, saying he walked the path that’s usually taken during the parade.
He said while we couldn’t gather in-person because of the pandemic, it’s important to still remember the importance of Dr. King’s message.
“I hope that even though we’re not all gathered together in person today, we all remember how good it felt to be together,” Damphousse said. “To watch our elders inspire younger generations to remember how far we’ve come and also how very far we have to go before Dr. King’s dreams all come true.”
The video is up in full on the A-State Multicultural Center YouTube page. You can watch it here.
The rebroadcast comes after the celebration, titled “Truth, Love, and Justice,” ran into some problems because of COVID-19. The virtual program faced some technical difficulties.
Last year, the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade was held at Arkansas State University.
It was the first time in 19 years that there has not been an in-person parade and march.
The virtual celebration was set to air live Monday at 12 p.m. through Zoom and radio station KLEK’s social media pages, but due to technical difficulties, the program will air later Monday evening.
Planning Committee Co-Chair Ashley Wilson says the technical problems are a perfect example of the difficulties COVID-19 has thrown their way.
Though it has been challenging, she says it is still important to celebrate Dr. King’s dream.
“Because we know how exciting it is and how important it is for us to declare a day of unity and just show the Northeast Arkansas area that we care about social justice, we care about equality; we care about equal rights for everyone,” Wilson said.
Wilson says the event is all about learning and coming together.
“Our purpose and what we’re doing every year and throughout the years is to remember Dr. King. We want to bring awareness to our community; we want to bring awareness across states that this is an ongoing battle,” said Wilson.
Wilson says they are still working through technical difficulties, but the program will be streamed on KLEK’s Facebook page.
It will feature comments from Arkansas State University Chancellor Kelly Damphousse, performances by the MLK Singers, and speaker Tracy Steele, a former Arkansas legislator.