MLK Day in LA: 2019 Observance Features Parade, Mass

Martin Luther King Jr. Day were observed Monday with the 34th "Kingdom Day Parade" in South Los Angeles, multiple service projects, a Mass at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels and an event at the Reseda Church of Christ.

Scroll down for a look at events around Southern California.

Kingdom Day Parade

The 3-mile Kingdom Day Parade began at 10:15 a.m. at Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Western Avenue, and proceeded west to Crenshaw Boulevard and then south to Vernon Avenue. The theme is "Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds, Healthy Democracy.'' Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts was the grand marshal.

Other parade participants included Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Reps. Maxine Waters and Karen Bass, D-Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson and Councilmen Curren Price and Marqueece Harris-Dawson.

A festival at Leimert Park followed the parade. Service projects were held throughout Los Angeles County to fulfill the goal set by Congress in 1994 to make the day a "day on, not a day off," including at George Washington Carver Middle School in South Los Angeles and 16 sites in Long Beach.

Memorial Mass

An annual Memorial Mass honoring King's life and mission was celebrated at 2:30 p.m. at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. Archbishop Jose H. Gomez was the celebrant and homilist of the liturgy.

"Reverend King's words and witness speak to what is best in the human spirit and the spirit of America," Gomez said. "He reminds us that beyond the color of our skin or the countries where we come from, we are all brothers and sisters, children of one heavenly Father who loves us and wants us to live in peace."

Valley Intercommunity Council

The Valley Intercommunity Council's 21st annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration had the theme "Life's Most Persistent and Urgent Question Is What Are You Doing For Others." Realtor Mel Wilson was the keynote speaker.

Reseda Church of Christ

The Pacoima Mass Choir of California, Reseda Church of Christ's male ensemble and the Melodious Gospel Group performed at the 6 p.m. event at the Reseda Church of Christ, which was preceded by a meet and greet at 5:30 p.m.

California African American Museum

The California African American Museum in Exposition Park conducted a Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. The keynote address was delivered at 1 p.m. by the Rev. Eddie Anderson of McCarty Memorial Christian Church in South Los Angeles. The celebration also included family activities; the playing of a recording of a speech King gave in Los Angeles and a group discussion about how his words relate to the present; a panel discussion on intergenerational activism in the 21st century; young activists delivering excerpts of speeches King gave; and a children's march around Exposition Park's Rose Garden, inspired by the Children's Crusade in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963.

Service Projects

Service projects were planned for South Los Angeles, Long Beach and Hollywood  in an attempt to fulfill the goal set by Congress in 1994 to make it a "day on, not a day off."

George Washington Carver Middle School: Former Los Angeles Lakers star forward A.C. Green, the Laker Girls and more than 1,000 volunteers were expected at George Washington Carver Middle School in South Los Angeles to beautify the campus and surrounding neighborhood with painting, building, landscaping, gardening, cleaning and assembly projects. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson and Councilmen Joe Buscaino, David Ryu, Bob Blumenfield and Mitch O'Farrell and Anthony Chavez, a grandson of the late labor leader Cesar Chavez, are also among the scheduled participants.

Long Beach: The ninth annual Long Beach MLK Day of Service had projects at a record 16 sites. Projects include a beautification efforts at Jordan High School, MacArthur Park, Veterans Park and Scherer Park and cleaning up the corridors along Long Beach Boulevard, Atlantic Avenue and Orange Avenue and beach and parking lot area at Junipero Beach. Organizers expected more than 1,200 volunteers to sort and fold more than 30,000 items of clothing at the seventh annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Clothing Collection & Community Breakfast in Hollywood. The event was held from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at the headquarters of the volunteer organization Big Sunday at 6111 Melrose Ave.

The clothing folded will be donated to several organizations.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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