MLK Day Pride Parade, a march through downtown Lexington. There were around 120 groups and organizations represented. I decided I would walk with the DREAMers. They invited me via Facebook, and I also had the invitation from the students at the high school. I thought it would be a good idea to get to know more of the folks involved, as I had recently become involved in yet another committee involved with local Latino youth.
I was the second to arrive. One of the high schoolers, Maria, was there first. She said she arrived early, around 8:30. That’s something she always does she said. I told her I was the same, but at least I stopped for some coffee. We chatted for a while until more folks arrived. Eventually some people showed up with mylar balloons filled with helium. They were shaped as foil starts. Everyone in our group was given one of these balloons. We were also given a slip of paper.
“What’s this? What do I do with this?”
“Write down one of your goals or your dreams, or why you’re here. Something that matters to you.”
I did so, I wrote down Let families stay together.
The slip was hole-punched, and I threaded it up the string to my balloon, as I saw everyone else doing. We were the only group to have balloons. I think we were also one of the only groups composed of Latinos.
As we marched toward Vine, we were the fourth in line of over 100 in the march. As we headed off, we let our balloons fly. The folks watching and those behind us cheered, as did we. There was something special about that march, about the chanting, about the energy, and the activism I found with this group of students. I’m wondering how to bridge it into the university, to writing, and also for social change.