‘We will be marching’: Commissioner previews 37th MLK March in San Antonio

San Antonio’s MLK March touted as largest in the nation; organizers say dress warm for sub-freezing weather

Thousands of walkers take part in a march honoring Martin Luther King Jr. in San Antonio, Monday, Jan. 16, 2023. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) (Eric Gay, Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

SAN ANTONIO – Despite freezing temperatures expected next week, San Antonio’s Martin Luther King Jr. March and Celebration is still scheduled for Monday - though it has been delayed until 11 a.m.

“First and foremost, we will be marching,” MLK Commission Chair Dwayne Robinson told KSAT. “Nothing in the weather suggests that we will not be able to hold a march. It may be a little bit cold. Dress appropriately, dress warm, but come to march.”

KSAT meteorologists expect the temperature could be the lowest for the holiday in more than a decade, with the current low/high forecasted at 19/33 on Monday. In 2022 and 2019, the low temperature for MLK Day in San Antonio was 32 degrees - though the sun warmed marchers in 2022. In 2007, the low temperature was 31 degrees and San Antonio received about half an inch of precipitation, according to KSAT weather archives.

San Antonio’s MLK March, in its 37th year, is touted by organizers as the nation’s largest.

This year’s event is occurring at a time when equality and inclusion efforts are being questioned in cities, schools and businesses. Robinson said he remains cognizant of the importance of King’s work around social justice.

“It’s a constant reminder that the work that King and other civil rights leaders were doing in the early 60s, unfortunately, is still needed today,” Robinson said.

Every year, the commission selects a theme to center the march around after reaching out to the public for their input.

This year’s theme is “Yesterday’s Dream, Today’s Vision, Tomorrow’s Reality.”

“This one, to me, is very appropriate because when you think about themes of the past, the marches and the demonstrations, and you think about what’s going on today with some of the unrest locally and across the country, what does that look like in the future?” he said.

Part of the theme’s mission is to influence subsequent programming for the march, including artwork submissions from local youth.

Earlier this week, Alexa Villanueva, a student from Cole High School, won the commission’s art contest with her piece titled “My Today, Our Tomorrow.”

MLK Commission student art contest winner Alexa Villanueva and Commission Chair Dwayne Robinson pictured at the Carver Community Cultural Center on Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2024. (City of San Antonio Art & Culture Department)

Villanueva’s work will be a visual representation of the march and commemoration on Monday.

An official unveiling and dedication of the artwork took place Tuesday, January 9 at 10 a.m. at the Carver Community Cultural Center.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to capture Dr. King’s dream through my artwork, and would like to extend a huge thank you to the City of San Antonio for this honor and opportunity,” Villanueva said Tuesday at a dedication ceremony for the artwork.

Robinson said he hopes that part of the message people take away from the march is the need to treat one another with respect.

“A large part of the reality is that it impacts all of us,” Robinson said. “The bad news is that we treat each other a certain way, and it really is irrelevant (to) what your skin color is, what your height is. We treat each other wrong. The good news is that we can solve it one person at a time.”

For more information on the march, visit their website.

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About the Authors

Mason Hickok is a digital producer trainee at KSAT. He graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio with a communication degree and a minor in film studies. He also spent two years working at The Paisano, the independent student newspaper at UTSA. Outside of the newsroom, he enjoys the outdoors, walking his dogs and listening to podcasts.

Joe Arredondo is a photojournalist at KSAT 12.

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