ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (Jan. 12, 2024) - Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) Student Government Association (SGA) President Jay’Quahn Blackledge, 21, knows a bit more about Martin Luther King Jr. now than he did growing up.

“I now know about the people he surrounded himself with and that he found it very important to be with like minded people,” he said. “With people who think like you, it’s easier to carry out your vision because they carry the same vision that you do.”

That’s a pressing thought as Blackledge and his Viking classmates gear up for a rally and march to honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., on Monday, Jan. 15. The meet up begins at 11 a.m. at Roebuck Stadium. Following the rally, the march begins at noon to the Elizbeth City Municipal Building, 306 E. Colonial Ave. to be followed by a full program at 1 p.m.

ECSU student leaders, sororities, fraternities, and campus organizations are spearheading the event and welcome the Elizabeth City community to attend. Togetherness is key to continuing the message and motives of King, Blackledge said.

“This event shows the importance of (students) honoring those we came before us and the legacy they left. We have to make sure we still fight for the same rights they fought for,” he said.

Marcus Bass, executive director of the North Carolina Black Alliance is the program’s guest speaker. Blackledge, Mister ECSU Jared Bell, and Miss ECSU Jordan Thornton will also offer remarks.

In the event of inclement weather, the event will take place at Cornerstone Missionary Baptist Church, 507 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr.  

Bria Vaughan, assistant director of fraternity and sorority life and student organizations, said having young people lead these types of efforts ensure they’re tapped into their history and today’s times.

“We always encourage our students to be engaged,” she said. “We want them on the frontlines of civic engagement.”


Who: ECSU Students and Public

What: Martin Luther King Jr. Rally and March

When: Monday, Jan. 15, 2024, 11 a.m.

Where: Roebuck Stadium, 1704 Weeksville Rd.


Who: ECSU Students and Public

What: Martin Luther King Jr. Program

When: Monday, Jan. 15, 2024, 1 p.m.

Where: Elizabeth City Municipal Building, 306 E. Colonial Ave.