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Santa Monica's MLK Day Celebration Goes Virtual
By Lookout Staff
January 14, 2021 -- Santa Monica will host its first-ever virtual birthday celebration for the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Monday.
The theme of the 36th annual multi-ethnic, interfaith program -- held online at 9 a.m. at mlkjrwestside.org -- is “If not us, then who? If not now, then when?”
The keynote speakers at the event presented by The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Westside Coalition are U.S. Rep. Karen Bass and Tamika Butler, former executive director of the Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust.
The celebration features inspirational remarks and performances by the Santa Monica High School Choir and the Peace Player Drummers and the presentation of education awards to local students.
A Community Light Award will be presented to The Village Nation, an organization whose mission is to "boost the capacity of caring adult mentors and support them in creating culturally responsive learning environments" for African American youth.
The annual Community Involvement Fair showcasing a variety of community organizations will be held on the website after the event.
Congressmember Bass -- now in her fifth term representing California’s 37th Congressional District -- is currently Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus of the U.S. House of Representatives.
She serves on the House Judiciary Committee, as well as the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, where she is Chair of the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations.
In 2008, as a member of the California State Assembly, Bass became the first African-American woman in U.S. history to serve as Speaker of any state legislature.
Bass grew up in the Venice/Fairfax area of Los Angeles she represents in Congress and is a graduate of Cal State Dominguez Hills, the University of Southern California’s School of Medicine Physician Assistant Program and the USC Masters Program in Social Work.
Tamika Butler is "a national expert and lecturer on issues related to the built environment, equity, anti-racism, diversity and inclusion," organizers said.
She is the founder and principal of Tamika L. Butler Consulting and uses her background in law, community organizing, and nonprofit leadership to "shine a light on inequality, inequity and social justice."
She headed the Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust, a nonprofit that builds parks and gardens in park-poor communities across Greater Los Angeles "to help address social and racial equity, and improve wellness."
Butler earned a J.D. at Stanford Law School, and received her B.A. in Psychology and B.S. in Sociology in her hometown of Omaha, Nebraska.
The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Westside Coalition is a nonprofit coalition whose mission is consistent with Dr. King's legacy.
Event sponsors include Santa Monica College, Santa Monica College Associates, SGI-USA, RAND Corporation, Santa Monica Bay Area Human Relations Council, and a variety of other organizations, individuals, and corporate contributors.
For details about the celebration visit mlkjrwestside.org
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