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January 7, 2014 > Honoring a man and his dream

Honoring a man and his dream

Freedom, equality, and unity have long been the desire for people and nations across the globe. For African Americans struggling with these ideals in the arena of civil rights, one man stood at the forefront of tremendous social change.

Baptist preacher Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. dedicated his life to pursuing peace, fighting to end segregation and unify people through kindness, tolerance, forgiveness, reconciliation, and love. Dr. King held true to his dream of a better future through marches, boycotts, rallies, threats, assaults, and jailings, inspiring countless people and pushing his country and its people to embrace equal rights for all.

Though his work was cut short by a gunman on April 4, 1968 at the young age of 39, Dr. KingÕs influence and spirit lives on. His legacy and memory are honored each year on the third Monday of every January, close to the date of his birthday, January 15. First observed in 1986, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day reminds people to follow in the path blazed by its namesake, respecting and caring for their fellow man and leaving no one behind in the murk of racism, cruelty, and despair.

Remember, celebrate, and act with the Afro-American Cultural and Historical Society as they celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day with their annual commemoration program on Sunday, January 12. Under the theme ÒA Mission Still to Fulfill,Ó community members will gather to remember the spirit and legacy of Dr. King in word and song with performances by Pamela Forbert and Corvallis Choral Group, Johanna Holte and the First Presbyterian Church of Newark Youth Group, and students from Newark Unified School District.

Pastors, school personnel, mayors and other elected officials will be in attendance including Rev. George Gaskins of Bethel Baptist Church, HUSD Superintendent Stan Dodd, Gloria Grant-Wilson, Nancy Alden, Graham Phuvanatnaranubala and Keyon Duncan. Rev. Garrett Yamada will serve as the host pastor with Rev. Dr. Lyman J. Alexander as the Keynote Speaker.

Usher in the holiday in Hayward with the annual ÒMartin Luther King, Jr. Holiday MarchÓ on Monday, January 20. Sponsored by the South Hayward Parish, the event begins at Hayward City Hall Plaza at 9:30 a.m. with music and the words of Dr. King, followed by the March of Witness at 10 a.m. In celebration of HaywardÕs diversity, attendees are invited to carry banners of their organizations and wear national dress. Upon returning to City Hall Plaza at 10:30 a.m., attendees will join in song and be inspired by Dr. KingÕs words of courage, hope, and justice.

Chabot College hosts a celebration featuring uplifting performances by the Mt. Eden Choir, Mt. Eden Band, and other local groups. In addition, organizers are proud and honored to have Dr. Melba Beals, one of the Little Rock Arkansas Nine, share her story of integration as she experienced it first hand in 1957.

For those interested in honoring Dr. KingÕs legacy through acts of service, visit for opportunities.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration
Sunday, Jan 12
3 p.m. Ð 5 p.m.
First Presbyterian Church of Newark
35450 Newark Blvd. (at Cedar Blvd.), Newark
(510) 793-8181

Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday March
Monday, Jan 20
9:30 a.m.
Hayward City Hall Plaza
777 B St., Hayward
(510) 785-3663

Dr. King Celebration
Monday, Jan 20
4:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Chabot College
Reed L. Buffington Visual and Performing Arts Center
25555 Hesperian Blvd., Hayward
(510) 723-6976

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