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Santa Monica to Host Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration January 21

 

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By Lookout Staff

January 11, 2019 -- Santa Monica will host what has become one of the largest and most diverse celebrations of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in Southern California on Monday January 21.

Derric J. Johnson, the founding director of Crossroads School’s newly created Equity and Justice Institute, will be the keynote speaker at the birthday celebration.

The event -- presented by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Westside Coalition -- will take place at 9 a.m. the SGI-USA World Peace Ikeda Auditorium, 525 Wilshire Boulevard.

Derric Johnson
Derric Johnson (Courtesy of SMC)

The event -- presented by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Westside Coalition -- will take place at 9 a.m. the SGI-USA World Peace Ikeda Auditorium, 525 Wilshire Boulevard.

Johnson -- who has "extensive experience in establishing and implementing youth-focused programs" -- will oversee development of a "groundbreaking" K-12 social justice curriculum at Crossroads, organizers said.

"He will also seek to find meaningful solutions to some of the challenges facing communities by creating partnerships with nonprofit organizations, supporting student and schoolwide community activism, and incubating new initiatives that will seek to have a positive impact locally, nationally, and internationally,"organizers said.

Johnson has worked for the Alliance for Children’s Rights, the Community Oriented Correctional Health Services in Oakland and was senior deputy for public safety and justice for County Board Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas's office.

Titled “Injustice Anywhere is a Threat to Justice Everywhere,” this year’s celebration features a multi-ethnic, interfaith program that includes inspirational readings, speakers, music and dance, organizers said.

The program also features the presentation of education awards to local students and a Community Light Award to the Santa Monica College DREAM Program, was launched in fall 2018 to support undocumented students, as well as AB540 and DACA recipients, organizers said.

Immediately following the program, there will be a Community Involvement Fair offering refreshments and informational displays by a variety of community organizations.

The fair -- which takes place from 10:30 to noon -- will be held the nearby Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows, 101 Wilshire Boulevard.

Event co-sponsors include the City of Santa Monica; SGI-USA; Santa Monica College; the SMC Associates (www.smc.edu/associates); the RAND Corporation; Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows; CityTV-Santa Monica; Santa Monica Bay Area Human Relations Council.


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