Dr. Lee June wanted to be there on was August 28th 1963. He was in New Jersey, on his way to his sophomore year of college. He remembers busses of his peers leaving for washington to take part in a movement.
"There was just a feeling in the air based on that march and all that was going on at that time that change was coming," said Dr. Lee June, an MSU Professor and member of the Greater Lansing MLK Holiday Commission.
And in the 50 years that have expired since, some change has come. And on the 28th,June will get a second chance to experience the type of energy that swept the nation on that day 50 years ago. June and 30 other Lansing and East Lansing community members will travel to Washington D.C. and join at least fifty thousand people in honoring the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and Dr. Martin Luther King Junior's "I Have a Dream" speech.
"We have a very diverse delegation from our community who are participating, high school students and people who are 20 something or 30 something all the way to retired individuals," said Elaine Hardy, Chair of Greater Lansing Area MLK Holiday Commission.
The diverse delegation that's going to D.C. was established by the Greater Lansing MLK Holiday Commission, which is receives funding from the cities of Lansing and East Lansing. Every January, the group is charged with holding one of the biggest MLK Day events in the state.
"It's certainty going to invigorate them, renew them with energy, and I think it'll be even better for our event going forward," said George Lahanas, E. Lansing City Manager.
The youngest members of the delegation hope to bring what they hear at the anniversary program, which includes speeches from President Obama and former Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, back to school in the fall.
"I'm gonna tell everyone that I was there and that it's important for us to always know where we came from," said Alexis Scott, E. Lansing High School Student Member of Delegation.
Members of the delegation hope that they, and those watching from home, are moved by the day's events
"I would hope that people would then do an assessment of where we come from and to what extent that we had a dream and still have a dream," said June.