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Opportunities to recognize, honor The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. this year

EVERETT — Organizers of Everett's Martin Luther King Jr events Jan. 13 and Jan. 15 hope people not only reflect on King's appeals for equality during the civil rights movement but act on his call for kindness and fellowship.
This year's theme is "The Urgency is Now: From Dream to Reality."
Co-organizer DanVó nique Bletson-Reed said the theme got picked because "there's a lot going on in our world and we need to move" on them while acting on King's principles of love, peace, equity and justice.
There is a lot going on: Mental health, homelessness and youth suicides today have added to existing issues of injustice, inequality and discrimination.
"As a people, we've got to get together" and strategize on the issues, she said.
Friday, Jan. 13 is the big march and rally of the Greater Everett MLK Community Celebration.
The rally's at 11 a.m. and the march commences at 11:30 a.m. Gather at Everett Memorial Stadium, 3900 Broadway, to march down Colby Avenue.
The event continues at the Carl Gipson Center, 3025 Lombard Ave. Organizers say marchers should arrive at the Carl Gipson around 12:30 p.m. At the center, a roster of speakers includes Lynnwood City Councilwoman Shirley Sutton, Mountlake Terrace City Councilman Steve Woodard, Pastor Jermell Witherspoon of Everett United Church of Christ and Michael Adams, the head of Change the Narrative.
You can hear speeches from some of the student winners of the Prodigies of Peace contest as well.
The Community Celebration continues Sunday, Jan. 15 from 3:30 - 5:30 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church, 2936 Rockefeller Ave. Pastor Aaron Gaines
of Faith Tabernacle Fellowship church will be the keynote speaker.
The art and essays in the annual Prodigies for Peace contest will be on display at both the Jan. 13 and Jan. 15 celebrations.
The contest asked students as a prompt: What does Dr. King’s “I Have A Dream” speech mean to you, and how would the message be reflected today?
His words are some of the most meaningful to the civil rights movement when races in America were blatantly unequal. King delivered it Aug. 28, 1963, at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, where more than 200,000 convened at the nation’s capital as the culmination of protests for change earlier that year.
Bletson-Reed is the president of the Snohomish County Black Heritage Committee. She said she hopes the events Jan. 13 and Jan. 15 will inspire and challenge people to recognize that if they are in a position to help someone to act on it “now or never.”
Events like this are “a time to stop and reflect, and a time to look inward,” she said.
While King is gone, we are here, she said. If there’s a way to look at oneself, she hopes people will ask themselves “what can I do?”

Day of service events and events in Edmonds
• Forterra is hosting park cleanup events at McCollum Park and Thornton A. Sullivan Park:
•• On Monday, Jan. 16, the event at Thornton A. Sullivan Park is from 9 a.m. to noon. The park is located at 11405 W. Silver Lake Road, Everett. Preregistration is required through
For questions, email or call 206-204-8052.
•• On Saturday, Jan. 14, the event at McCollum Park will be from 10 a.m. to noon. The park is located at 600 128th Street SE, Everett. They will meet near the pool where the A-frame structure is (near the park-and-ride). Preregistration is required through For questions, email Sarah at
• Catholic Community Services says it has a variety of day-of-service events for Monday, Jan. 16. Call 425-374-6323 or email mgwoo for more information
• The YMCA is conducting day-of-service community events countywide Monday, Jan. 16:
• • The Everett Y, 4730 Colby Ave., is doing a cleanup of the Interurban Trail and the area near its Y from 9 a.m. to noon. To sign up, go to
• • The Monroe Y, 14033 Fryelands Blvd., is having people meet at 8:30 a.m. to join groups who will spread wood chips at Wales Street Park and Currie View Park. Wales Street Park is at the corner of Van Avenue SE & Wales Streeet SE. Currie View Park near the corner of 154th Avenue SE and 173rd Street SE. To sign up, go to
• In Edmonds, at 6 p.m. Monday, Jan. 16, speaker Leilani Miller will keynote a Martin Luther King Jr. program at the Edmonds Waterfront Center, 220 Railroad Ave., Edmonds. The program includes Josephine Howell’s R&B and Gospel band. General admission tickets are $15 through
Also in Edmonds, a free morning program will be Monday, Jan. 16 starting at 9:30 a.m. with local performers and arts and crafts at the Edmonds Waterfront Center, 220 Railroad Ave., Edmonds.
To participate in the Snohomish County Black Heritage Committee, email




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