Local students to be honored at event
Published : Monday, January 20, 2020 | 5:45 AM
The Martin Luther King Community Coalition (MLKCC) will hold its annual MLK day festivities at 8 a.m. today, Jan. 20, with a continental breakfast at Robinson Park, 1081 N. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena.
The event, which began nearly 25 years ago, is both a celebration of the life of Dr. King and an awards ceremony for students who have submitted entries for the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Essay and Visual Arts/Poster Contests which are based on a topic selected by the MLKCC.
This year’s topic according to Denise Jones, an MLKCC board member is, “What do you think Martin Luther King would do with the ballot today?”
She also said that, “This is an election year as well as being the hundredth anniversary of women having the right to vote, so our theme is based around the ballot. We’ve asked the kids to reflect that in their entries.”
Originally, the event was an essay contest, but it has evolved over the years.
“It started as an essay contest. And as time went on, it expanded to not only essay, but art and performing arts. However, this year we’re just doing essay and art.” Jones said.
Over the years more than 22,000 students have participated in the different categories of the contest.
Students from public and private schools between grades 4th through 12th asked to submit their entries beginning in October 2019 with the first week of December being the deadline for their final submissions to the competition. The winners will be announced towards the end of the event today.
Although the event officially starts at 8 a.m. in the park’s recreation center, a continental breakfast will be served at 7:45 a.m. followed by a “teach in” that will feature a film and a discussion group.
“We have two speakers that will give their perspective on the theme this year. Community activist Nat Nadar and Tournament of Roses president Laura Farber,” Jones said. “It will be over at about 11:30,” said Jones. “And the MLK Community Coalition will provide lunch for the community as well.”