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'Stop the Hate' Theme of MLK Celebration Monday


Bob Kronovetrealty
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By Lookout Staff

January 10, 2024 -- “Stop the Hate, Start the Healing” is the theme of this year's Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration held in Santa Monica on Monday.

One of the largest and most diverse celebrations of its kind in Southern California, the 39th annual event takes place at 9 a.m. in the SGI-USA World Peace Ikeda Auditorium, 525 Wilshire Boulevard.

The multi-ethnic, interfaith program features a keynote address by Lisa Holder, President of the Oakland-based Equal Justice Society, inspirational readings, speakers, music and a short theatrical performance.

The program also includes the presentation of education awards to local students and a Community Light Award, event organizers said.

This year's celebration marks the launch of the Nat Trives Service Award with a presentation honoring the former Santa Monica mayor "whose widespread community involvement has led to his renown as Mr. Santa Monica,” organizers announced.

Keynote speaker Holder recently completed her two-year term as an appointee of Gov. Gavin Newsom on the historic Task Force to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African Americans.

A nationally recognized, award-winning trial attorney, Holder is an expert in equal protection, education equity, employment discrimination, constitutional policing and international human rights law.

She drafted two California laws in 2019 -- AB 241 and 242 -- that require all judges, attorneys, court staff and health professionals to undertake continuing education on bias-elimination.

In 2020, she served on the steering committee for the Proposition 16 campaign to repeal California’s ban on affirmative action.

Holder received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Wesleyan University and her JD from New York University School of Law, where she was a distinguished Root-Tilden Scholar.

Immediately following the program there will be a Community Involvement Fair presenting informational displays by a variety of community organizations from 10:30 a.m. to noon at the Santa Monica Bay Woman’s Club, 1210 4th Street.

Monday's event is presented by The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Westside Coalition, a nonprofit coalition whose mission is consistent with Dr. King’s legacy.

Event sponsors include the City of Santa Monica, Santa Monica College Associates, Santa Monica College, SGI-USA, RAND Corporation, Santa Monica Bay Area Human Relations Council, and a variety of other organizations and individuals.

For more information about Monday's birthday celebration and other related special events visit

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