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How L.A. Is Celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s  message of equality took on a special meaning for many as they celebrated in his honor just one day before the swearing-in of the nation's first black president.  (Thinkstock: Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s message of equality took on a special meaning for many as they celebrated in his honor just one day before the swearing-in of the nation’s first black president. (Thinkstock: Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Martin Luther King Jr. Day will be marked in the Los Angeles area today by observances and service projects in several communities and a festival in Leimert Park Village.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Festival will be held at Crenshaw Boulevard at Vernon Avenue from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. It will include health and wellness services, employment and veteran services, pet adoptions and spay and neuter services, musical performances and food trucks.

People can also visit a clinic to receive assistance in revising their criminal records under terms of Proposition 47, approved by voters in 2014. Inglewood’s 33rd annual commemoration of the life and accomplishments of the slain civil rights leader will begin at 9 a.m. with a commemorative program at The Tabernacle at 321 N. Eucalyptus Ave. There will be performances by local choirs and community groups and speeches by winners of the city’s youth speech contest.

A symbolic civil rights march will begin at The Tabernacle at approximately 11 a.m. and head west on Manchester Boulevard to the Forum, where the King Fest will be held with live entertainment.    Santa Monica’s 31st annual Martin Luther King Jr. birthday celebration will begin at 9 a.m. at the Soka Gakkai International Auditorium, 525 Wilshire Blvd. Its theme is “Peace Requires Justice.”

The multi-ethnic, interfaith program will include speeches, inspirational readings and music and dance performances. Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila James Kuehl will be the keynote speaker.    A Community Involvement Fair with refreshments and informational displays from a variety of community organizations will follow at the SGI Youth Center at 606 Wilshire Blvd.

A Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Breakfast and Celebration will be begin at 8 a.m. at Jackie Robinson Park in Pasadena, with music, dance, food and arts and crafts for children and presentation of awards to finalists of the Martin Luther King Community Coalition Art and Essay Contest.

The California African American Museum in Exposition Park will hold its annual Cake for King community celebration from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The celebration will include a reading of “My Brother Martin”; a gospel performance by the Fernando Pullum Youth Ensemble; historical documentary film screenings on King’s legacy and historic speeches; an art workshop where guests can create a linocut image of King; dance performances; and slices of birthday cake.

Pacoima’s 28th annual Martin Luther King Celebration will be held from 3- 5 p.m. at the Greater Community Missionary Baptist Church at 11066 Norris Ave.

Congressional representatives will speak about the Voting Rights Act, and Los Angeles Police Department and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department officials will discuss diversity and use-of-force training.

What organizers are billing as the day’s largest service event in Los Angeles will take place at Augustus Hawkins High School in South Los Angeles from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. There, more than 1,300 volunteers are expected to join members of City Year Los Angeles in painting 135 bright-colored inspiring murals in an effort to create a more vibrant learning environment.

City Year is a national organization in which young people perform a year of service in high-need urban schools.

More than 400 people are expected to come to the Hollywood headquarters of the community service festival organizer Big Sunday from 9 a.m. to noon to count, sort and fold more than 20,000 items of clothing that will be donated to a variety of organizations.

Members of several Long Beach community and neighborhood organizations and city departments will create an ocean-friendly rain garden at the former Fire Station 12, now the 9th District Office, and clean up Long Beach Boulevard in Virginia Village.

The fifth annual Roosevelt High School Beautification Day will be held from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and include a campus clean-up, renovation projects and a Health Resource Fair.

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