Lead Story West Edition

Parades, service days to honor King’s legacy

LOS ANGELES — U.S. Sen. Kamala D. Harris will serve as the grand marshal for the 2018 Kingdom Day Parade honoring the life of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

The 2.5-mile-long parade takes place Jan. 15 at 10 a.m. starting Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Western Avenue, traveling west on King to Crenshaw, then south on Crenshaw and ending at Vernon Avenue in Leimert Park.

The theme for this year’s parade is “When They Go Low, We Go High.”

The Kingdom Day Parade was started 37 years ago in San Diego by Larry Grant and Celes King before moving to Los Angeles in 1985.

U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters was the grand marshal of the 2017 parade. Other grand marshals include Stevie Wonder, U.S. Rep. Karen Bass, Gov. Jerry Brown, Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, Mayor Eric Garcetti, City Council members Herb J. Wesson, III and Curren Price, comedian Steve Harvey, L.A. Dodgers star Matt Kemp, Little Richard, Debbie Allen, former Police Chief Bernard Parks and many others.

The parade is just one of many activities being held to honor King, who would have been 89 this year, which also marks the 50th anniversary of his death.

Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

The MLK Community Health Foundation will hold its fifth annual luncheon honoring King’s legacy at noon Jan. 12 in the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion of the Los Angeles Music Center, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown.

Actor Anthony Anderson will serve as master of ceremonies and local newscaster Pat Harvey and actress Susan Kelechi Watson will be honored.

California Greenworks will conduct a Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service from 9:30 a.m. to noon Jan. 13 by planting street trees in the Hyde Park and Park Mesa communities of South Los Angeles. The group will meet at Rivera Flooring, 2510 Hyde Park Blvd.

The city of Gardena’s 34th annual MLK Commemorative Parade will take place at 10 a.m. Jan. 13. The parade begins at Van Ness and Marine avenues. International gospel recording artist and pastor Brent Jones is the grand marshal of this event and Patricia Worthy is the community grand marshal.

Every year, the city of West Hollywood unites to conduct a day of service in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. This year the city will host two volunteer events from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Jan. 13 at West Hollywood Elementary School, volunteers will come together to help perform various landscaping, clean-up, painting, and other tasks to embellish the school.

Volunteers also will collect non-perishable food items to benefit the SOVA Food and Community Resource Program. Used shoes and clothes are also being donated for the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Youth Center on Highland. Items can be dropped off by the curbside of West Hollywood Elementary School between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Culver City will host “The Beloved Community: Justice, Faith, Hope,” a celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day Jan. 13 from noon to 3 p.m. at the Culver City Senior Center, 4095 Overland Ave. The event will center around the philosophy of what makes a community thrive: justice, faith and hope.

The city of Inglewood’s MLK Day celebration will take place Jan. 15 at the Tabernacle in Faithful Central Bible Church, 321 N. Eucalyptus Ave. The service will include performances by local choirs and community groups and youth from schools in Inglewood. To complete the service, young speakers from the citywide MLK speech contest will present their award-winning speeches. A civil rights march and KingFest family festival at the Forum in Inglewood will follow.

Organized labor will salute King at a breakfast at 9 a.m. Jan. 20 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Vanita Gupta, president of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, will be the keynote speaker. U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris also will address the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor.