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Emporia Community Action commemorates five-year anniversary of March on Emporia with similar demonstration Tuesday Featured

By September 15, 2020 385
Demonstrators make their way to Emporia Public Library as part of the five-year anniversary commemoration of the March on Emporia Demonstrators make their way to Emporia Public Library as part of the five-year anniversary commemoration of the March on Emporia Tagan Trahoon/KVOE News

Five years ago, demonstrators marched on Emporia demanding justice and equality. Tuesday evening, in honor of the five year anniversary of the event, demonstrators again took to the streets of Emporia to call for equality.

The march was organized by Emporia Community Action in support of former ESU employees Melvin and Angelica Hale, the organizers of the original march back in 2015. The original march developed after the discovery of a racial epithet written on a notebook in the ESU School of Library and Information Management.

The Hale's were unable to attend Tuesday's march in-person, however, they did take part in a virtual press conference before the march began at ESU's Plumb Hall. Angelica Hale believes the original march was a major spark for demonstrations on other college campuses in 2015.

The discovery of the racial epithet would eventually lead to a long-term dispute between the Hales and the university with both Melvin and Angelica Hale filing separate lawsuits against ESU. Melvin Hale's case was eventually dismissed, however, Angelica Hale was recently awarded $64,000 in back pay, benefits and prejudgment interest.

Melvin Hale says his wife's victory brings credibility to their claims. 

Following the virtual press conference, demonstrators met outside of Plumb Hall and began their march to the Emporia Public Library.

 

Once at the library, demonstrators took time to share their own personal stories and continued the call for equality. The demonstration also included a voter registration effort throughout the evening.

Over 50 people took part in Tuesday's march.  

Photos by Tagan Trahoon and Xander Baldwin/KVOE News 

 

 

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Last modified on Tuesday, 15 September 2020 19:04