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For The City of Long Beach, Martin Luther King Jr Day is a “Day On, Not a Day Off”

Written by Cindy Marie Jenkins on Friday, January 12th, 2018 at 12:14pm.

There are parades and then there are meaningful community events. There are empty celebrations and there are neighborhood collaborations that truly get to the heart of civic service. In both cases, Long Beach’s Martin Luther King Jr.’s Parade and Celebration embody the latter.

Of course, The City of Long Beach and Councilmember Dee Andrews of the Sixth District are involved, but then you have the group called What’s Next Now, whose mission is to “unite people and resources to build a stronger, healthier community”. With programs to relieve poverty, advance education and youth/child services, support to seniors and the disabled, and the advancement of health, environment and the arts, this group of citizens live King’s wishes for us all.

To experience what I am sure will be a transformative day for social justice, head to Long Beach tomorrow, Saturday, January 13th, for their event “Standing on the Shoulders of Giants”. In the meantime, enjoy some fast facts about this annual Long Beach tradition.

  • First of all, if you are anybody who cares about Long Beach and justice, you are involved. Along with the headliners Kiddo, musical descendants of George Clinton, the many performers include drummers and dance troupes whose worldviews and purpose align with King’s visions of peace, justice and civil rights.

  • The theme for the entire event, which begins on Saturday at 10:30 AM, is "Standing on the Shoulders of Giants".

  • You can find everyone ready to start the parade at Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue and Anaheim Street. Participants will follow MLK Jr. Avenue along 19th Street until they land at King Park on 1950 Lemon Avenue to continue the celebration.

  • The grand marshals this year are Reagan Romali, John Barnett Rambo, Peter Kong, Chris Fontayne Herron, Mr. Baker's Style Center and Stephen Harris.

  • It’s 2018, so of course there are an abundance of food trucks available!

  • Leadership Long Beach coordinates volunteers to make the Monday holiday a “Day On, Not a Day Off”. Service projects include garden planting, underpass cleanup, urban garden upgrade, Houghton Park landscape and helo pad cleaning, Palo Verde Grove Tree Painting, North Long Beach Alley Cleanup, and more.

  • At the Carmelitos Growing Garden in the Carmelitos Housing Development, over eight local organizations will volunteer to clean and plant new seeds. A contemporary of Dr. King, William C. Barnes, will also speak about Long Beach’s role in the civil rights movement.  

Match your skills with the 2018 Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service here.



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