On Monday, January 19th, thousands turned out to Denver’s MLK “marade,” a combination of a march and a parade.

Of the estimated 40,000 people, Innovators Peak had the opportunity to ask some of them an important question: What does Martin Luther King, Jr. Day #represent to you? 

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Jason

Sam Kerry Bar Association – Black Lawyers Bar Association

MLK #represents all of this.  What he worked for is still alive; it is still here.

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Eduardo

Up with People

I live nearby. I want to see this.  It is a special occasion. MLK #represents leadership and the dream, which hasn’t been achieved at this point. 

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Carrie

I’m here to celebrate the birthday of MLK and carry on the vision of everyone working together and being as one.  He #represents freedom to me.  Able to work and live among everyone with my head held high instead of down.  Not to be ashamed of who I am.

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Thomas

Regis University

MLK #represents equality of race, equality of sexuality.  #Represents being yourself. 

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Angie, Evelyn and Michelle

Latino Leaders

We are here in remembrance of what he did for our country.  He #represents freedom, equality.

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Robin

I’m here to celebrate his life and what he did for everyone remembering him, what he #represents—life.

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Will

I come every year.  Hard to say exactly what this holiday means to me and how to express it. Bring unity among all.  Eliminate discrimination.  Too many people really go.  Old thoughts and old memories raise their kids to think the same way; it gets passed on.  All men, all women are equal.  We all bled red, but we still live in a stigmatized world. The candle was lit, but for some reason it gets blown out.  We have to keep relighting it.  He gave his life for this cause.

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Marielle and Melissa

The day the entire city comes together. I came since first grade.  Sense of community. It’s hard to say what he #represents—change, freedom.

We’ve been coming since the girls were young.  It’s the one time of year we all come together in peace and equality.  I don’t feel like I do it a lot, but its nice to be able to do it.  MLK #represents someone who is willing to put his neck on the line.  And do it peacefully.

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Leela

I was at work, but I asked to leave early so that I could honor Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy.  He #represents freedom and the ability to do the best I can.  Racial equality.

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Bertram

I always come out here.  I am an architect and my office is nearby.  We’ve done some work in the park.  We brought him out here when he was still alive.  I picked him up from the airport and we talked.  He wanted to find a solution.  He saw a problem and thought, how can we find a solution.

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Christian

AmeriCorps

I am with AmeriCorps, Habitat for Humanity.  I wanted to volunteer.  He #represents a person doing anything it takes to go after what you want.

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Nazli

I am here to support Black resistance, resistance against racism.  Honor the memory, remind everyone its not over.  MLK #represents activism; he represents leadership. 

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Alex and Sydney

We’re here for the Marade—it is an important time to be here.  I think it is worth recognizing and honoring what he did and why we still need him.  MLK #represents hope and a voice, a third way to handle conflict and struggle.

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Shelia and Michael

Unity, see the people regardless of nationality, let everyone know it’s not the 60s anymore. Today #represents Black people first, because we know the struggle. Then he was able to get around to everyone else.

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Nina and Zoe

We are here because my husband is in a fraternity, and they are marching in the parade.  He #represents how you can work with people who are white.  Working for a goal. 

photos by Emily Przekwas