The Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Southern California hosted its Second Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Sacrifice Community/Labor Luncheon on April 16, at the California Science Center in Exposition Park.
With more than 200 community guests, the event commemorated the April 1968 assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and underscored the theme of ‘50 Years After Selma, Where Are We As a People.’ The Rev. Omarosa Manigault served as emcee.
Highlights of the event included historical reflections by Pastor Kelvin Sauls of Holman United Methodist Church, musical selections by Lura Ball, SCLC-SC oratorical contest winner Jehoshua Smart, a video presentation of the history of the SCLC in Los Angeles and remarks by the Bishop T. Larry Kirkland, Sr., presiding prelate of the Fifth Episcopal District of the A.M.E. Church.
Honorees included Dr. Maulana Karenga, who received the President’s Community Award and Dr. William Lucy, recipient of the Chairman’s Labor Award. Dr. Karenga, the creator of Kwanzaa, is professor and chair of the Department of Africana Studies at CSU-Long Beach and executive director of the African American Cultural Center. Dr. Lucy is the retired Secretary/Treasurer of AFSCME International and co-founder of the Free South Africa Movement. He was active in leading the union strike that Dr. King went to support when he made the ultimate sacrifice.
Martin Luther King III, who delivered the keynote address, is a nationally known civil rights leader who has carried on the legacy and tradition of his father with non-violent activism.
“The SCLC of Southern California is working to develop programs aimed at bringing attention to the wealth gap and finding solutions to closing it,” said Pastor William Smart, SCLC president/CEO.
“We believe that this can be accomplished through accessible and quality education for our youth, employment enhancements to the current workforce and real economic development. Our luncheon was an opportunity to highlight the focus and work of the SCLC-SC, and invite the community to join in our efforts,” added Smart.
Sponsors of the event included SEIU 721, UFCW 770, IBEW Local 11, SEIU-ULTCW, AFSCME Local 3090, Assemblymember Reggie Jones-Sawyer, along with numerous table and community sponsors.
Plans are underway to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act this summer and a launch of the Poor People’s Campaign in the fall.
For more information, visit the SCLC-SC online at: www.sclc-sc.org