The Martin Luther King Jr. Committee of Santa Barbara is presenting its 14th annual observance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday holiday.
This year, the committee will present a two-hour virtual program, live-streamed on mlksb.org and on the MLKCommitteeSB Facebook page on Monday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. This year, due to restrictions on public gatherings, the committee has created a virtual program featuring ceremonial and civic presentations as well as inspirational messages from members of the community.
Dr. Anna Everett and the Rev. Richard A. Lawrence are the featured speakers. Dr. Everett, an emeritus professor of UCSB, was recently elected to the Santa Barbara City College Board of Trustees and also serves on the Santa Barbara County Commission for Women. She holds leadership positions in a number of organizations advocating for marginalized groups.
The Rev. Lawrence of San Diego is a retired United Methodist clergyman whose ministry is committed to social justice. The Rev. Lawrence was active in the civil rights movement and knew Dr. King personally. In 1965, the Rev. Lawrence took an interracial group of students from Chicago to participate in the Selma to Montgomery march. Later, when Dr. King came to Chicago, the Rev. Lawrence helped him to organize an anti-discrimination demonstration there. He has contributed leadership to dozens of community organizations, including Operation Breadbasket and Black United Funds in Chicago and NYC.
The 2021 Virtual Program will include encore music and dance performances from previous years. Among those being featured include: the combined choirs of B’nai B’rith Choir and Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara Choir, directed by the late Ken Ryals; World Dance for Humanity; Dance Institute of Santa Barbara; Inner Light Gospel Choir and Coastal West Community Choir. The program will feature ‘Over the Years’, a series of photo montages portraying Martin Luther King Events from 2008 to present.
— Gerry Fall