Big Sandy joins City of Pikeville for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Unity March | BSCTC

Big Sandy joins City of Pikeville for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Unity March

Published on Jan 18, 2017

Aretha Hamp performed following a Unity March at Pikeville City Park on Monday, January 16 to commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day.Big Sandy Community and Technical College (BSCTC) and the city of Pikeville held a Unity March commemorating the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday, January 16 at the Pikeville City Park. 

“Let us never get complacent, let us continue to work for justice and equality for everyone,” said former Kentucky Governor Paul E. Patton.  Patton and Pastor Billy Compton reflected on the life the late Rev. Gene Layne, who worked tirelessly throughout eastern Kentucky to bridge racial divides and continue the work of Dr. King.  Layne, a former member of the BSCTC Board of Directors and pastor of the Church of God Militant, Pillar and Ground of Truth, worked for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet for 34 years prior to his death in 2014. 

Justin Preston, pastor of the Lebanon Chapel A.M.E. Zion in Virginia, recited King’s historic “I have a dream” speech.  Herbert T. Owens, of the Pleasant Green Missionary Baptist Church in Lexington, gave the keynote address. 

“We can't continue to shackle our youth with our mistakes,” said Owens, a Pikeville native. “We have nothing to fear but fear itself, and we must believe in the power of dreams to bring about change.” 

Kelli Chaney, dean of career education and workforce development and Pikeville campus coordinator at BSCTC, said the college was proud to partner with the city on an event “that highlighted the life of American that promoted servant leadership and a moral compass that we seek to follow even decades after his death.” 

On Tuesday, January 17, a tribute to Dr. King was held on the Prestonsburg campus of BSCTC.  Dr. Tom Matijasic, professor of history, spoke on the life and legacy of Dr. King.  Members of the Big Sandy Singers also performed. 

For more information on BSCTC’s diversity efforts, contact Bobby McCool, dean of community development at (606) 886-7354 or email