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Daytonians march on MLK Day

A long line of marchers walking under the Third Street Bridge in Dayton.
Garrett Reese
A long line of marchers walking under the Third Street Bridge in Dayton.

Daytonians gathered to march in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Despite the brisk air, people spoke to WYSO’s Garrett Reese about why they were marching.

The march began outside the Drew Health Center on West Third Street and ended at Sinclair Community College.

Transcript (edited lightly for length and clarity)

Why are you marching?

Jesse Smith, Dayton resident: To make people aware of the struggle that we came through, and the struggle continues.

Johnnie Freeman, a scoutmaster (Dr. King was a scout): I think our marching shows that the dream is still going on and also shows that the dream is not dead, but also it's about the values that Martin Luther King carried. It carries on in me being a scout member.

Jen Lake, an educator: As someone who works in education, I want to just be a good role model for kids and the youth.

Xavier Brand-Bey, marching with his dad: You get to show everything that he (MLK) did and why he did it.

Dayton Mayor Jeff Mims: We have better conditions than those who started this process back decades ago. They marched with dogs, fire hoses, and people hitting them, spitting, and throwing rocks at them. These conditions are nothing compared to what they went through.

Garrett is a WYSO intern and graduate of University of Dayton. He spent time covering the Dayton area with WDTN Channel 2 News after the 2019 Memorial Day Tornado outbreak. It was around this time that he began listening to NPR and fell in love with radio-based journalism. Garrett graduated from UD in May of 2021 with his Bachelor’s in Communications with a focus in journalism and graduated in May of 2022 with his Master’s. While not working at WYSO, Garrett is an avid reader, loves to play video games, and hanging out with his friends.