PUEBLO, Colo. – After a hiatus in 2021, the annual CommUnity March in Pueblo returned Monday to mark Martin Luther King Jr. Day and recognize the mission the late civil rights leader began.

Organized by the Pueblo NAACP and partnered with the Pueblo Library, community leaders marched from the library to El Pueblo History Museum.

“We still have things we must do to bring a wholeness in America, and in order to do that we need to come together,” said Roxana Mack, the president of the Pueblo NAACP.

Marchers held signs declaring “I am the Change” and “Yes, we will continue on.”

For Jermaine Reed, who attended the march with his daughter and son, the work that Dr. King started is not yet done.

“I think we’ve made a lot of strides in the past 50 years, but there’s still a lot of divisiveness in this country today. And I think we need to be more unified as a people over all,” Reed said. “What better time to reflect on that than Martin Luther King Jr. Day.”

The message to be heard from this year’s march is “I am the change.”

“Each of us has a voice, each of us has the power to make change, the necessary change we need in this United States and even in this community,” Mack said.

For Reed, the change he plans to make is one of perspective—from lessons learned in the past, and ensuring his own children and others carry them forward.

“It’s about taking the things that I was taught as a child and magnifying them and pushing them forward for my kids,” Reed said. “So, ‘Change starts with me?’ A new legacy for my children and I want them to build on this legacy and pass it on.”

Reed kept his kids home from school on Monday. He says the school does a good job of explaining the history of the day, but explained being able to share the experience with family is more powerful.

“I think it’s important for them to see what it is rather than reading about it in a book,” he said. “I guess the older generation that I am – now that we just rent this planet and we have to pass it on to them – and the goal is to leave it better than we found it.”

He and Mack called out voting restrictions being considered and passed in states across the country as contrary to an equitable society.

“We still have a long way to go as a society to make sure that we still can come together and [make sure] everyone has the same rights. A lot of people are still struggling and that shouldn’t be lost on people today,” Reed said.