37th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration Celebration

Tiani Jadulang

This afternoon, one local committee commemorated Martin Luther King Jr. on what would have been his 94th birthday.

The Palm Springs Black History Committee hosted the Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration Celebration at the Love of Christ Community Church in Indio.

“It’s important that we continue to honor and teach the legacy of Martin Luther King for generations to come. So we don’t forget our history, how far we’ve come and how far we need to go.” says Waymond Fermon, a Councilmember for the City of Indio.

This marks the 37th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration Celebration for Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration Committee here in the Coachella Valley.

Every year, the event is hosted in a different city. This year’s celebration resided in Indio.

“We had ages from infants all the way to seniors here today. So it’s such a great event and we have to keep his legacy alive by continuing to teach, and this ceremony will continue… and it was such a great event.” says Fermon.

Residents from all over the valley were in attendance, including local officials from almost every city.

“For the Coachella Valley, a very important event. We live in a very diverse valley. However, we still have a ways to go and one of my goals here in the city of Indio is to bring Dr. Martin Luther King street to the city.” Fermon says.

This street would be the second to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in all of Riverside County, making it the first in the Coachella Valley.

One new feature that guest speaker and city of Indio Councilmember Waymond Fermon added, was to choose one person in the community for their Lifetime Achievement Award.

This year’s winner was 94-year-old Mary Alice Hearne, who Ferman added is a grandmother to the entire community.

For the committee, today was about honoring MLK’s work for the entire American population.

“It’s important to continue to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, not just today, but the work that he did not just for African Americans, because most people seem to think, but for everyone, you know, he was able to do civil rights for sanitation workers. He was able to do some civil rights for women. He was able to do civil rights for those folks who didn’t have rights… and he spoke up for those who couldn’t speak for themselves.” says Jarvis Crawford, the President of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration Committee.

Even with multiple guest speakers, those in attendance made today even more special.

“The highlight of today’s event were the people that came out to participate, it’s the folks that come to participate that make it a highlight.” Crawford says.

Not to be confused, tomorrow, January 16th, is Martin Luther King Jr.’s federal holiday.

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