ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Today, Apr. 4, marks 55 years since the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Junior. Reverend Charles Becknell, the New Mexico Chapter President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, is working to honor his legacy.

“This day, it brings back some painful memories,” says Becknell. On Apr. 4, 1968, Dr. King was shot and killed at a motel in Memphis, Tennessee. Becknell says that while Dr. King’s work was inspiring for many, it also put a target on King’s back.

Dr. King was just 39 years old when he was killed. He delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech in 1963, calling for civil rights and an end to racism in the United States. “You can’t kill the dream because history will last on through generations,” says Becknell.

Dr. King was elected president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957. The conference aims to raise up community leaders to make a difference in their community. “We are seeking African American University of New Mexico students with a 2.5 GPA or higher, who understand the commitment and drive it takes to make a difference,” says the UNM chapter’s website.