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January 21, 2020 | By collegewearinc

Community Spotlight: 40th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade with UC San Diego

Bringing freedom through education

Welcome to the CollegeWear, Inc. Community Spotlight series! Our mission at CollegeWear, Inc. is to not only provide quality custom products, but to help celebrate the communities we serve. From major events occuring in our hometown of San Diego, to small college clubs just starting out, we want to highlight some of the fantastic groups and events we’ve had the pleasure of serving.

This year, the 40th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade took place on January 19th, 2020 in Downtown San Diego. UC San Diego partook in the parade, inviting hundreds of its students, staff, and faculty to be a part of the historical day.

Students marching at the parade | Copyright © 2020 Regents of the University of California


Four Decades, One Legacy

The parade is coordinated by the Zeta Sigma Lambda chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha, the oldest Black fraternity in America - which Dr. King was a part of himself. It has since then become one of the largest celebrations of its kind in honor of his legacy in both the United States and the San Diego African-American community.

The parade is celebrated annually in Downtown San Diego, where all walks of life come to both participate and enjoy the festivities. From spectacularly crafted floats, soulful high school bands, and thousands of community members walking down the iconic seaside street, it’s become a staple to San Diego.

Attendees showing the 2020 UC San Diego shirt deesign | Image courtesy of Liora Kian-Gutierrez


Representing Your Pride

With every college and university invited to the parade each year, what better way to come together as a community than to celebrate his important day with a memorable shirt? This year, CollegeWear, Inc. provided nearly 250 shirts to UC San Diego for its students, staff, and faculty to sport on the day of the parade.

Each year, the design beautifully mixes the colors of UC San Diego and imagery and quotes from the reverend himself. The designs perfectly capture the inspiring nature that is Martin Luther King Jr. Everyone from the the university who participates are able to show at the parade and outside of the parade how impactful he is in the San Diego region.

UC San Diego Pep Band performing at the parade | Copyright © 2020 Regents of the University of California


The Parade and UC San Diego

Each year, UC San Diego invites all staff, faculty, and students to participate within the parade, led by a large “UC San Diego” banner and the university’s pep band. They march alongside many other groups, colleges, and individuals from the San Diego Community, from government officials, firefighters, youth groups, dancers, and activists.

“The parade is a lot of fun, because everyone is so happy, and the families and kids are always so excited,” says 4th Year Sophia Mokhtarian, who has participated in the parade for multiple years, “And it is also really cool to see other areas of San Diego come together to celebrate. It feels great to show your support and be a part of a larger community.”

Many students in attendance regard and praise the event for its cause, which coincides with many of UC San Diego’s values. “It's an occasion meant to empower, and walking through the crowd with the parade served as a reminder...that there is something that unifies us all in one way or another,” 4th Year Madalyn Rogers states, “There is also the level of being able to acknowledge how far we have come as a society, and how far we still have to go. It's a grounding moment to just be present in a community, and take time to reflect, celebrate, and just be. And I appreciate that because it's pretty powerful.”

Students at this year's parade | Image courtesy of Liora Kian-Gutierrez

An Important Day For the Community

The Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade is a magnificent celebration of the life King led. It is a great reminder of how far we have come as a community, a city, and a nation. With equality and civic engagement at the forefront of our education, this parade allows San Diego to remind themselves of King’s achievements and sacrifices he made for civil rights.

CollegeWear, Inc. is always honored to be a part of such an amazing and important event in San Diego!

Is your community or organization hosting an upcoming event? Let us help! We offer quality, budget friendly custom apparel and giveaways. Contact us today! Our team is standing by to help! Click here to get started.

Header image courtesy of Liora Kian-Gutierrez