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Martin Luther King Day Report/Photos!
updated: Jan 21, 2014, 1:35 PM

By Robert Bernstein

Martin Luther King Day was celebrated in a big way Monday in Santa Barbara. The theme this year was "Lift Every Voice".

The events started in De La Guerra Plaza and continued with a march up State Street to the Arlington Theater.

Inside the Arlington Theater the program began right on time at 11AM and ran until about 1PM.

The program included dance, music and presentation of poetry and essay contest winners from local schools.

My photos are here. I will also be posting the program, including the names of the performers and awardees.

Congresswoman Lois Capps started off the speeches calling on us all to celebrate the accomplishments of King while noticing the unfulfilled parts of King's mission.

Capps especially noted ever increasing wealth inequality and falling opportunities for millions of Americans. She also noted the ever-growing problems for immigrants that go unresolved. She called on us to get involved and to "agitate"!

One by one many of the other speakers raised these issues.

But others presented other dimensions of King's mission yet to be fulfilled. Blacks and whites have learned to be "polite", "nice" and "respectful" to each other. Yet few true friendships cross racial lines.

Changing laws was important. But one big project now is changing hearts. How we feel about each other, truly.

Michelle Qin won the essay contest for students 6-12 years old. She wrote of a time where she witnessed one student bullying others and how she was afraid to speak up. She said we must get past that fear and we must all speak out whenever we see injustice. "Lift Every Voice" as this year's theme said.

John Chambliss won the essay contest for students 13-18 years old and his essay was read in his absence. He wrote that every voice must matter. And that means the voices of ordinary people, not just the wealthy. To lift every voice we must have economic justice.

After the program at the Arlington Theater, people walked to a free community lunch at the First United Methodist Church at 305 East Anapamu Street. And yet more music and even some dancing!


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