March on Washington Celebrated

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March on Washington at Lincoln Mem 2023 (2).jpg
ASU students stand in front of the Lincoln Memorial during their trip to D.C (contributed).

ASU Students Attend 60th Anniversary of March on Washington

- Students with National Society of Leadership & Success (NSLS), National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), National Pan Hellenic Council (NPHC), ASU's Student Government Association (SGA) and others attended the historic event. 

By Kenneth Mullinax/ASU 

A busload of students, representing several Alabama State University campus organizations, made the 11-hour journey to the nation's capital to attend the 60th Anniversary of the historic March on Washington, which was celebrated this year on August 26. The organizer and leader of the students’ pilgrimage to honor freedom, equal rights and liberty was Eldric Coleman, a junior, majoring in Biology and Pre-Health with a goal of becoming a physician.

"We had this anniversary deeply rooted as a goal for students from the University to attend the 60th anniversary because of a number of reasons that include the fact that we are all involved in the modern civil rights movement, and we thought it was important to represent our historic campus, ASU, at the anniversary event because Alabama State students were at the original event in 1963 and as most people know, the Civil Rights Movement was born in Montgomery with Rosa Parks’ refusal to give up her bus seat and the (community notifications of the) Montgomery Bus Boycott was planned and conceived hours later in the basement of the University's Councill Hall administration building," Coleman said.

"As the University's new slogan state's, 'ASU, Where History is Made,' we chose to bring it to action and to follow history's pathway back 60 years to Washington and to the sight of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s iconic 'I Have a Dream' speech to let folks know that Alabama State students are still part of the dream team." 

Coleman, a native of Albany, Ga., is a leader of a number of campus organizations, including the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., the University's National Society of Leadership & Success (president), and ASU's NAACP (vice president). He is a candidate for president of the NAACP’s state Youth and College Division, with elections scheduled for September. Coleman stated that while he was motivated by Dr. King, he was equally motivated by the courage and determination of his mother, Tanjaneka Lester and his grandparents, John and Joycelyn Lester, who taught him to love all people, just as Dr. King did during his life. 

Among the approximately 30 Bama State students who made the round trip to Washington in one day were members of the National Society of Leadership & Success (NSLS), National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), National Pan Hellenic Council (NPHC), ASU's Student Government Association (SGA) and others. 

Among staff who were engaged in encouraging the students to attend was Dr. Sabrina L. Crowder, assistant vice president for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management.

"As a Student Affairs officer, I am always encouraged and excited to see our students get involved in events both on and off campus; however, these particular students planned the trip, made a very long journey in the course of driving to and from the District of Columbia on the very same day — not to get involved in so-called sightseeing, but to honor an event, a movement and a cause," Crowder said. "This speaks to the high caliber, care, dedication and leadership of our students and to the spirit of the Hornet Nation, in general. Here at our ASU, we teach both world-class academics and caring, or as President Quinton Ross has made popular, CommUniversity — and the two combined create an Alabama State student that makes one proud and who can change the world for good as so many others did before these young people." 

News media contact: Kenneth Mullinax, 334-229-4104.