An array of signature events highlight the King Legacy Celebration sponsored by the Southern California Leadership Conference of Southern California throughout the month of January.

According to Rev. William D. Smart, president/CEO, and Alice Goff, board chair, the programs include free and ticketed activities designed to educate and mobilize attendees around the issues that the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., deemed critical to assuring equality for all Americans society, a status that continues more than 50 years after his assassination.

“Our theme, ‘SCLC: Building Martin Luther King’s Beloved Community,’ summarizes the focus of our events, which aim to inspire people to unite in eliminating poverty, racism and militarism in this country,” said Smart.  “Now, more than ever, we must come together to re-create the beloved community that Dr. King dreamed of – a community centered around love and nonviolence and ending racism and poverty.”

Smart added that each event will promote participation in the 2020 Census, include information on the new L.A. County voting system and feature involvement of the MLK Young Dreamers for Justice, the organization’s newly-formed multicultural and ecumenical youth association.  Upcoming activities range from forums to panel discussions to concerts.

Earlier this week, SCLC-SC held its 63 Anniversary and Founder’s Day worship service (see page D-1) and hosted a screening of the film, “Just Mercy.”  On Saturday, Jan. 11, the finals of the Essay and Oratorical Contest will take place at 6 p.m., at Mount Gilead Missionary Baptist Church, 9201 S. Normandie Ave., in Los Angeles. Southland middle and high school students will compete for prizes from $500 to $1,000.

Two events are scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 12. At 3 p.m., the African American Cultural Center, will present “Conversations About MLK Today” at 3018 W. 48th St., in Los Angeles.  At 5 p.m., First Congregational Church will hold a concert and discussion on social justice.

The Rev. Dr. Clyde Oden will be the guest preacher for the “Theology in the Hood” revival set for Tuesday, Jan. 14 and Wednesday, Jan. 15, at 6 p.m., at Bethel AME Church, 7901 S. Western Ave., in L.A.  The SCLC-SC’s Interfaith Breakfast takes place on Thursday, Jan. 16, at 9 a.m., at Holman United Methodist Church, 3320 W. Adams Blvd., in L.A.

The Getty Center will be the site of the King Week Reception on Friday, Jan. 17, at 7 p.m.  The program will include music by the Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles and viewing of the exhibition, “Balthazar: A Black African King in Medieval and Renaissance Art.”

SCLC-SC plans its 37th Annual Legacy Awards and Benefit Gala on Sunday, Jan. 19, at 6 p.m., at Loews Hollywood Hotel, 1755 N. Highland Ave., in L.A. Award-winning actor Keith David will emcee the event. The honorees are Bishop Noel Jones of the City of Refuge Church, Lola Smallwood Cuevas of the UCLA Labor Center, Fight for 15 Campaign and Mary Kay Henry of SEIU International, and artists Maya Jupiter and Aloe Blacc.

“Our goal is to present both celebratory events and action-oriented programs to launch the foundation of Dr. King’s ‘beloved community’ in Los Angeles,” said Smart.  “We urge the everyone who shares our vision to be a part of all of our events.”

For information on all events, visit or call (213) 268-3082.