Local residents are invited to a number of free events planned this three-day weekend in observance and remembrance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
All events hosted by the Martin Luther King Jr. Committee of Santa Barbara are free to attend. The committee’s mission is to foster positive relationships between the diverse groups in the local community and surrounding areas, while also celebrating Dr. King by sponsoring programs and events that exemplify his teachings.
The committee’s 2020 theme has been established by a famous quote from Dr. King, which reads: “In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”
The weekend of events will kick off at noon today outside UCSB’s Buchanan Hall for the Eternal Flame program. The program will be followed by a “Walk with Us” to North Hall and a reception at the campus’ Multi-Cultural Center.
From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, people will gather at Santa Barbara City College to remember the non-violent walk across the Edmund Pettus Bridge on March 21, 1965, led by Dr. King. The 54-mile, four-day walk was the third such attempt to walk from Selma, Ala., to the state capital of Montgomery in support of voting rights. The event will include guest speakers the Rev. Roderick Murray, Regina Moore and Wendy Sims-Moten. Following the walk will be a call and response featuring Santa Barbara Ring Shout. At 1:15 p.m., the Sharin Kurstin drum group will provide tunes for attendees to dance to the authentic rhythms of West Africa. Food and refreshments will be served.
An evening of poetry and art will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. at Kiva Cowork, 1117 State St. The event will be held in partnership with Pacifica Graduate Institute and include youth performances, music, poetry and art.
Residents are encouraged to attend their respective place of worship on Sunday.
Monday will include a number of events held in the downtown area. The morning program will begin at 9 a.m. at De la Guerra Plaza with music, dancing and guest speakers. The unity march from the plaza to the Arlington Theatre will begin at 10 a.m.
A special program will be held at the theater from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Soloist Lois Mahalia will perform, as well as essay and poetry award winners. The guest speaker will be the Rev. Dr. James M. Lawson, who worked with Dr. King in planning a non-violent direction of the movement in the 1950s, 60s and 70s. Dr. Lawson was an organizer of Freedom Rides, a mentor to the Nashville Student Movement and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. Dr. Lawson is on the faculty of California State University, Northridge and University of California, Los Angeles. More recently, he has been inducted in the California Hall of Fame for his life’s work in non-violence and social justice.
For more information or to find a list of local churches and faith organizations that will be recognizing Dr. King on Sunday, visit www.mlksb.org.