Martin Luther King Jr. Annual Celebration – Westside Coalition
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These are historic times on multiple fronts: the COVID-19 global pandemic, the economic strife caused by the pandemic and the racial crises sparked by the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor at the hands of police. One of these alone is significant but to live through all three at the same time has created a tornado-like whirlwind in our lives.
Many of us, both here and abroad, have found inspiration and guidance in Dr. King’s legacy and have used his methods to fight against injustice, inequality and racism. They are heard and seen in the peaceful, nonviolent protests that continue to this day. The impact of this activity has been felt by people of all races, ethnicities, genders and sexual orientations.
The goal of a peaceful world where all people are treated equally, justly and with respect continues to underscore the values we stand for in the shoes of Dr. King. We urge all of you to follow in his footsteps.
We will continue to educate and encourage the community at our 36th annual celebration of Dr. King and his legacy on January 18, 2021. Like much of the world today, our celebration will be live streamed and can be accessed beginning at 9:00 am by visiting our website: www.mlkjrwestside.org. Our theme is: “If not us, then who? If not now, then when?” Entertainment, Education and Community Light awards as well as inspirational remarks will be provided. Our Community Involvement Fair will follow immediately after the main celebration.
Our keynote will be given by two terrific speakers, the Honorable Karen Bass and Tamika Butler., Esq. Congressmember Bass was the first African American woman chosen to be Speaker of the California Assembly in 2008 and is currently Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus of the United States House of Representatives. Tamika Butler, Esq. is a national expert and lecturer on issues related to the built environment, equity, antiracism, diversity and inclusion.
We hope you will join us in celebrating Dr. King during our weekend of festivities. We begin with an exciting, new youth oriented event on Thursday, January 14, 2021 @ 6 pm. We are partnering with New Roads School to present the winners of an oratory and film contest entitled “Unfinished Work”, which moves forward the legacy of Dr. King by encouraging middle and high school students to acknowledge, challenge, disrupt and shine a light on institutional and structural racism. Then there will be a MLK Freedom Celebration on Friday, January 15, 2021, which was formerly the Interfaith Prayer Breakfast. These events will be virtual. The Santa Monica Symphony will present its annual MLK commemorative concert on Saturday, January 16, 2021.
We are very much looking forward to turning the page on 2020, and we hope you will join us in our effort to give 2021 a good start. We also hope you will provide a generous donation to assist us in our efforts to keep Dr. King’s legacy alive.
Darlene Evans, Chair,
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Westside Coalition