“Stand Against Injustice”
The 32nd Annual Celebration of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. —Martin Luther King Jr.
SANTA MONICA, Calif., Jan. 16–“We are here to celebrate Dr. King and his principles, which are as relevant today as they were 50 years ago during the Civil Rights Movement.”
Darlene Evans, president of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Westside Coalition, reminded those gathered at the SGI-USA World Peace Ikeda Auditorium on MLK Day of the spirit behind the 32nd Annual Celebration of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
People of all walks of life came together for the event themed “Stand Against Injustice,” co-sponsored by the SGI-USA and presented by the MLK Westside Coalition.
The vibrant sounds of the Ikeda Kings Orchestra welcomed guests, while the program included dance performances, a gospel choir and presentations of education and community awards.
“Look within to re-examine ourselves in order to preserve what is best and most beautiful about America.”
Dr. Kathryn E. Jeffery, the Santa Monica College superintendent and president, who served as the keynote speaker, emphasized her own “path to freedom’s door”—education. “I’ve used my education to develop the ability to think critically about the world and my place in it, and to fulfill my dreams although the odds were stacked against me,” she said. Dr. Jeffery then called on the audience to be the best examples for our children and to “look within to re-examine ourselves in order to preserve what is best and most beautiful about America.”
Santa Monica College student Isaiah Njoku received an education award for a poem he penned—his call to action to respond to hate and violence with love, compassion and honor.
In an interview afterward, Mr. Njoku said he aspires to become a nurse practitioner because of his love for people. “I want to help them prolong their lives,” he continued, “so that they can make a difference in the world.”