SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — On Saturday, Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, along with the Springfield NAACP sponsored a free showing of ‘Selma’ at The Moxie in downtown Springfield.

“Any collaboration in the community where we come together as one is important,” said Dennis Davis of Alpha Phi Alpha. “Sharing the legacy of Dr. King with members of the Springfield community is important this year. It’ll be important next year and be important 25 years from now.”

The screening included a voter registration drive by the Missouri State University group, Paws to the Polls.

“I think screening this film and especially making it accessible because it’s free to the public,” said Zion Stevens of Paws to the Polls. “It’s important to bring awareness to the issues that minorities have faced throughout history.”

Stevens said that Paws to the Polls was using the event to get people to vote in the April city elections.

“We’re here to register anybody in Greene County,” Stevens said. “It’s important, especially with the local election that’s coming up. On average, only 14-20% of people vote in local elections.” 

“Whether it’s a national election or the local elections, whether it’s for school board or dogcatcher, you know, Zone 1, Zone 2, Zone 3 — making your voice heard in the community is important,” Davis said. 

Davis and Stevens say local groups working together is vital.

“The groups that are involved — our fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha, segments of Missouri State University, the Springfield community — all have collaborated to do a host of events,” Davis said. “The local NAACP; these organizations coming together as one and doing events that benefit the community is so important.”

“We’re here to represent both Missouri State — young people in general — with the upcoming election,” Stevens said. “I know we have some of the youngest candidates ever running for city council, and so, we’re here to bring awareness to show that young people matter.”