By the MLKSB
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Committee of Santa Barbara (MLKSB) presents for the 16th year, a free program honoring the great Dr. King and all he stood for, to the community on the national holiday Monday, January 16.
“The synergy of this being the 16th annual celebration and that it falls on the 16th day, is one of some provenance after two-years in the virtual world, 2023 marks the return of the live event. We’re very excited to be able to share the programs about Dr. King again with our community,” said Board President Eo Brown.
This year’s theme is pulled from a speech Dr. King made in 1957 in Montgomery, Alabama, and chosen carefully by the board of MLKSB, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?” Words which continue to resonate and remind us of such an important part of our humanity – helping others.
On Monday, the MLK Jr. Holiday, greeting the attendees in the foyer of the theatre will be the David Gorospe Jazz group. Starting at 11:00 a.m., on stage at the Arlington, the 90-minute presentation includes our political representatives from hometown Mayor Randy Rowse, to the team in Washington, D.C. Congressman Salud Carbajal and State Senator Monique Limon. Keynote Speaker this year is Dr. Daina (pronounced Di-Nah) Ramey Berry, who is the Michael Douglas Dean of Humanities and Fine Arts at UCSB. Dr. Berry will speak on servant leadership and the impact of Dr. King’s legacy.
Both programs will include the always inspiring essays and poems read in person from the top awardees of the MLKSB Essay and Poetry Awards Program (EPAP), “It is hoped the chosen theme – “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?” – from a speech by Dr. King will inspire students to write about creative ways to give support to others, especially in times of strife,” said Brown who is acting chair, along with support from Toni Schultheis, Co-Chair. Since the organization had to go all viral, gratitude must go to Delvis Stoute, Program Application Developer, who set up an efficient system for submitting entries online. More than a dozen essay and poetry pieces were chosen by the judges from student entries coming in from Santa Barbara, Goleta and Isla Vista, up to Lompoc and Santa Ynez Valley, down to Carpinteria, Summerland and Montecito. Submissions followed MLKSB theme with entrants in two age groups: six to 12 and 13 to 18. The top three awardees in each age group receive a cash prize as well as opportunities for training in public speaking, poise, appropriate dress and stage presence. One or more may also have a chance for speaking or reading their entries at other public events, or on the radio throughout the year. All past awardees are up on the MLKSB website here: https://mlksb.org/what-we-do/essay-poetry-contest/ to give you an idea of the depth these young people bring to the fore.
More MLKSB Weekend Programs are being planned and added starting on Friday, so stay tuned as they are confirmed and announced on the website and Facebook page. Sunday the MLKSB Committee encourages everyone to attend their place of worship. Our website lists the faith organizations in our community https://mlksb.org/support/faith-organizations/ if you’d like to check out all the choices of places to pray. On Monday, be sure to join us for a celebration of the life and work of a man who really changed the world – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. AT THE ARLINGTON THEATRE ONLY from 11am – 12:30pm.
Please consider donating to the MLKSB Committee to keep these programs and outreach in place.