There won’t be a march this year, but there will be a virtual event.

The 22nd annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. local event will be Saturday.

Marcia Chambers, coordinator for the event and co-pastor at the Emmanuel Family Worship Center in Yuba City, said the event was started by Charlese “Lisa” Harris as a celebration of King’s birthday. (King was born Jan. 15; the national holiday is celebrated on the third Monday of January.)

“It’s important that we recognize such a significant social activist not only in the United States but the world,” Chambers said. “... It is only fitting that we celebrate it in a peaceful and inclusive way.”

Typically, the event would include a march through the Yuba-Sutter area along with a program. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be no march and the program will take place via Zoom.

“We’re happy that, even though the pandemic is around, we still have the ways and means of celebrating him, celebrating what he stood for,” Chambers said. “... We are celebrating the legacy and the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King.”

The theme this year is “Legacy of the Dream” and she said the program will feature speakers, including Harris. She said there will also be poetry, singing and more. They’re also hoping some other local leaders will participate in the event.

“Hopefully we will see some of them and give a message of hope for our people to bring about healing and kind of concentrate on what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s message was all about and what his vision was for America and we too can take part in that dream and bring it forward,” Chambers said. “We want to embrace the things that he stood for and how he went about achieving his goals, that we can bring about change and good in our country without violence.”

The virtual event will take place on Saturday, Jan. 16, at 10 a.m. To join the virtual event, visit zoom.us, click “Join a Meeting” and enter the meeting ID – 833 0444 1427– and the passcode is 874696.

“We’ve gotten so much support and we hope we’re not deterred by the pandemic,” Chambers said. “We will continue to march forward and have the program carrying out his legacy and his promise.”

She said they are still working on a petition to rename Fifth Street in Marysville after King, however, the effort has been slowed down by the pandemic. 

“We want to continue to move forward and embrace history,” Chambers said. 

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