Nashville’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day event Monday drew about 3,500 marchers and approximately 5,000 attendees to the post-march convocation, at which keynote speaker Kirk Whalum emphasized a theme of "daring to dream."
The marchers convened at the intersection of 28th Avenue North and Jefferson Street, moving west to TSU’s Gentry Center Complex for the convocation.
Of note, new TSU president Portia Holmes Shields spoke before the convocation crowd, stressing how the university welcomes all and noting changes at the historic university are forthcoming.
Mayor Karl Dean and local attorney Kelvin Jones also spoke during the approximately 90-minute convocation. Jones served as chair of the event's planning committee.
Vanderbilt Chancellor Nicholas Zeppos participated in the march, as did Metro Councilman-at-large Ronnie Steine and council members Lonnell Matthews Jr. and Vivian Wilhoite, among other city leaders.