The 21st annual Martin Luther King Day Parade took place in Carrollton, GA on Jan. 16, 2017. The parade was a celebration of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King and his fight for civil rights. Various businesses and organizations throughout the community marched in the parade, paying their respects Dr. King’s life work. The parade began at the Dairy Queen on Highway 27 and carried all of the way through Adamson Square. People from all over the West Georgia community woke up early and made it out to the sidelines in order to cheer on those participating in the parade and show their support for Martin Luther King. The parade was organized by the local Carroll County NAACP, who have taken many steps in order to evolve and expand the parade throughout the West Georgia.  

“They have really reached out to different members of various organizations, or groups in our community from educators to legislators to non-profits to religious organizations to various businesses here in the West Georgia area,” Deidre Haywood-Rouse,  the Director for the Center of Diversity and Inclusion at The University of West Georgia added.  

She was also reached out to by the Carrollton NAACP to serve as Grand Marshall of the parade. There was a large turnout of students and faculty members from UWG showing their support, many of which also helped organize the parade and make it possible this year. The focus of the parade was Unity, Justice and Peace which is exactly what Martin Luther King fought for throughout his career. 

“It really is a team effort and a group effort,” explained Rouse. “And that is really important as we work as a University to include more of our core values, and one of those is collaboration.”  

This parade was one of the many opportunities for students to get involved in events that are taking place outside of the University. Along with students, the Martin Luther King Day Parade brought together faculty members and residents from the West Georgia community in an effort to honor him and the work that he did. The West Georgia community will continue to celebrate the life and work of Martin Luther King, Jr for many years to come. 

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