Martin Luther King Jr. Day will be observed Monday with the 34th “Kingdom Day Parade” in South Los Angeles, multiple service projects, a Mass at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels and an event at the Reseda Church of Christ.
The 3-mile Kingdom Day Parade will begin at 10:15 a.m. at Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Western Avenue, proceed west to Crenshaw Boulevard and then south to Vernon Avenue. The theme is “Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds, Healthy Democracy.” Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts will be the grand marshal.
Other planned parade participants include Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Reps. Maxine Waters and Karen Bass, D-Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson and Councilmen Curren Price and Marqueece Harris-Dawson.
The Los Angeles Unified School District All City Honor Marching Band and bands from 10 high schools, including those from Centennial, Inglewood and Compton highs, will perform.
Thirty students from the all-girls Catholic Immaculate Heart High School in Los Feliz will march in honor of Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, a 1999 graduate.
Emmy-winning actor Glynn Turman will ride with the Buffalo Soldiers 10th Calvary Mounted Unit. There will also be equestrian units from the California Highway Patrol and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
The parade will also include a bus from the 1950s symbolizing public transportation’s role in the civil rights movement and a delegation from South Korea.
NBA career scoring record-holder Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Harlem Globetrotters forward Chris “Animal” Hyche and personalities from KDAY-FM (93.5), KJLH-FM (102.3), KRRL-FM (92.3) and KTWV-FM (94.7) will also be among the parade participants.
A festival at Leimert Park will follow the parade.
Service projects will be held throughout Los Angeles County to fulfill the goal set by Congress in 1994 to make the day a “day on, not a day off,” including at George Washington Carver Middle School in South Los Angeles and 16 sites in Long Beach.
An annual Memorial Mass honoring King’s life and mission will be celebrated at 2:30 p.m. at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. Archbishop Jose H. Gomez will be the celebrant and homilist of the liturgy.
“Reverend King’s words and witness speak to what is best in the human spirit and the spirit of America,” Gomez said. “He reminds us that beyond the color of our skin or the countries where we come from, we are all brothers and sisters, children of one heavenly Father who loves us and wants us to live in peace.”
The Valley Intercommunity Council’s 21st annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration will have the theme “Life’s Most Persistent and Urgent Question Is What Are You Doing For Others.” Realtor Mel Wilson will be the keynote speaker.
The Pacoima Mass Choir of California, Reseda Church of Christ’s male ensemble and the Melodious Gospel Group will perform at the 6 p.m. event at the Reseda Church of Christ, which will be preceded by a meet and greet at 5:30 p.m.
The California African American Museum in Exposition Park will conduct a Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. The keynote address will be delivered at 1 p.m. by the Rev. Eddie Anderson of McCarty Memorial Christian Church in South Los Angeles
The celebration will also include family activities; the playing of a recording of a speech King gave in Los Angeles and a group discussion about how his words relate to the present; a panel discussion on intergenerational activism in the 21st century; young activists delivering excerpts of speeches King gave; and a children’s march around Exposition Park’s Rose Garden, inspired by the Children’s Crusade in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1963.
President Donald Trump recounted passage of the First Step Act that changed federal sentencing laws and encouraged federal prisoners to use vocational and educational training or faith-based programs to help reduce the recidivism rate and recent record-low unemployment rates for African-Americans, Latinos, Asian-Americans and Americans without a high school degree in his proclamation declaring Monday Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
“We have … made great strides as a nation, but we acknowledge that more work must be done for, in the words of Dr. King, `justice to roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream,’ ” Trump said. “United as one American family, we will not rest — and we will never be satisfied — until the promise of this great nation is accessible to each American in each new generation.
“More than half a century after Dr. King’s March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, our nation is mindful of its past, and we look forward to the future with unwavering optimism, inspired by the legacy of Dr. King and informed by his wisdom and vision,” the president said. “May the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Junior and the efforts we have made to fully effectuate his dream, remind us that faith and love unite us together as one great American family.”
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