AUSTIN, Texas - Austin residents marched through the streets Monday to keep Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy alive.

"This year has been especially divisive,” said marcher Liz McGuire. “I feel like it’s even more important for us to show up, in person, and show our support and unity."

The country has come a long way since the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, but participants agree MLK's message still applies today.

"I think it's important for each generation to know how far we've come,” said Lauren Wallace.

The rally and march tradition began more 30 years ago by African-American students at UT and later became a city-wide event.

The celebration started at the UT Martin Luther King Jr. Statue. Participants heard inspiring speeches and music.

"All of us can do more and take inspiration from leaders of previous generations, especially Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,” said University of Texas President Gregory Fenves.

Starting at the statue, marchers headed from the University of Texas campus to the State Capitol.

"We pause today to remember his life and his work. He gave African Americans the courage to speak up against injustice,” said Huston-Tillotson University President Colette Pierce Burnette.

The march ended at Austin's first institution of higher learning and historically black college, Huston-Tillotson University.