The 33rd annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., birthday celebration will be held on Monday, January 21, 2019, at 9 a.m. in the Oxnard Room of the Oxnard Performing Arts Center, 800 Hobson Way. This year’s event theme is, “Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly: injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” The keynote speaker is Falilah “Aisha” Bilal, a consultant with The National Black Women’s Justice Institute.
On Monday, January 21, 2019, the day will begin with a Freedom March from Plaza Park at Fifth and “C” Streets. Community members, elected officials, and spiritual leaders will assemble at the park for prayer at 8 a.m.; the march will begin at 8:15 a.m. and proceed to the Oxnard Performing Arts Center. Transportation is available to Plaza Park from the Performing Arts Center parking lot for the march only. The program will begin at 9 a.m. and will feature youth speakers, scripture readings, and gospel musical selections by the MLK Celebration Choir, which will be directed by Dr. Angela Timmons. Rehearsals will be held on Tuesdays, January 2 and January 9, 2018, at 7 p.m. and Saturday, January 13 at 10 a.m. All rehearsals will be held at Bethel AME Church, 855 South F Street, Oxnard.
Tickets for the program are $7 and are available from any member of the MLK, Jr., Committee or from our website. The Committee now has an online presence through its website and social media. The website address is http://www.mlkventuracounty.com. The Facebook page can be found under the heading “Martin Luther King, Jr., Committee of Ventura County.” For information about the Martin Luther King, Jr., Day observance, there is also a Facebook event page titled “Martin Luther King Jr. Day—33rd Annual Ventura County Observance.” The Committee’s Twitter address is www.twitter.com/MLKventura.
Exhibits, refreshments, and vendor booths will be set up in the Ventura Room of the Performing Arts Center. For information or vendor booth applications, please call Willie Claytor at (805) 985-3387.
From its inception in 1986, the MLK observance program has attempted to spotlight the positive achievements and accomplishments of the youth of our community. In previous years, the Monday program has drawn approximately 600 people from throughout Ventura County and Santa Barbara. It was necessary to cancel the program only once, on January 17, 1994, due to an earthquake. As in previous years, this year’s program promises to be an inspirational, informative, and enjoyable experience; and we invite everyone to be a part of the activities and celebration of Rev. Dr. King’s life and legacy.