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Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrated Jan. 19 

–The City of Paso Robles invites the community to attend a celebration honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Saturday, Jan.19. This annual event commemorates this great American leader and his lifelong journey toward equality and peace.

The event begins with a march reminiscent of the marches led by Dr. King in Washington D.C. and Alabama during the Civil Rights Movement. The march is designed to both open the event and bring together community members, inspiring them to remember how we are all created equal. Those wanting to participate in the march should gather at 11:30 a.m. at the intersection of 21st Street and Riverside Avenue (near the fairgrounds). The march will begin at noon, and participants will march to Flamson Middle School where the celebration will take place. Refreshments will be provided to march participants.

The theme for the 2019 Celebration is I Am…Because of His Legacy. Event organizers ask community members to think about what they have become (more aware, more resilient, more tolerant) thanks to Dr. King’s message. “The Martin Luther King Jr. celebration is the one community event that truly brings together all ages and cultures in the local area to increase knowledge of our history and concerns about social justice. The celebration bonds the community and encourages all people to promote Dr. King’s legacy of equality,” states Lovella Walker, 2019 Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Committee Chair.

The 2019 celebration program will be held starting at 1 p.m. in the Flamson Middle School Auditorium (2450 Spring Street) and includes music and dance performances, school-sponsored art and essay contests, and more. Organizers are excited to include a presentation by the Black Queens, a group of local women who portray famous women from the Civil Rights Movement including Coretta Scott King, Rosa Parks, Merle Evers, Mamie Till, and Betty Shabaz.

Dr. Joye M. Carter, M.D. is returning as this year’s keynote speaker. Dr. Carter made history when she became the first graduate of Howard University to achieve board certification in Forensic Pathology and later became the first African-American to be appointed Chief Medical Examiner in the United States in 1992. She is also the author of several books. “Dr. Carter is a terrific inspirational speaker,” remarked Karen Christiansen, Martin Luther King Celebration Committee Member. ”When she spoke last year, the audience was spellbound by her story. I anticipate this year’s presentation will be awe inspiring as well.”

The purpose of the Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration is to promote remembrance and celebrate the life and message of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The Celebration strives to educate, empower, and strengthen the community and create among people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities a heartfelt desire to move closer to Dr. King’s vision of a unified community.

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