Honor Martin Luther King Jr.

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Larry Tukes and Bobby Alexander, Emeritus Chairs Eddie Rye, Jr., and Hon. Larry Gossett


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Design: Jeremy Sher

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Photo above by Susan Fried:  2016 March.

The 34th Annual
Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration
with Workshops, Rally and March
January 18, 2016



If you didn't make to the workshop "The Need For Social Justice Teaching - and the Obstacles Such Education Faces" by Jon Greenberg, Sharon H. Chang, and Rogelio Rigor, or want to see it again, you can access a video of the entire workshop at

One of the workshop presenters, Sharon H. Chang, wrote an article published in the The Seattle Globalist, "Why We Need to Save Social Justice Teaching" available at, with links to more resources


Real Change newspaper featured the a photo of the MLK Celebration March on its front page in the Jan 20, 2016 edition, see  More great photos were inside the issue.  We thank Real Change also for donating display ads announcing the event!

There was also a front page photo in The Skanner, Jan. 20, 2016, see
And don't miss the lovely photo of Eddie Rye, Jr., with Sen. Patty Murray on page 7 of that paper.  Eddie is a co-founder of the MLK Celebration committee.  Eddie was honored with the Skanner Foundation's Drum Major for Justice award for his long-time community activism.

A radio story about the MLK Celebration (by featured the workshop led by Elmer Dixon "A Call to Action: Addressing the Dis-proportionality in Incarceration of Black, Latino and Native American Youth in King County."  See

Before MLK day, the Seattle Times published this article "Seattle MLK celebration's younger leaders bring new priorities" by Nina Shapiro (Seattle Times, Jan. 17, 2016)

And here's the S.T. article on the rally and march, with 7 photos on the website, "Speakers at King rally: Much work left to be done" by Janet I. Tu, (Seattle Times, web posted Jan. 18, 2016, print edition Jan. 19, 2016)

Click here:  Flyer designed by local artist Al Doggett !

Monday, January 18, 2016,
starts at Garfield High School,
400 23rd Avenue
at East Jefferson, Seattle

    9:30-10:50 a.m.    Workshops in high school classrooms 

Photo below by Susan Fried:  Senator Patty Murray attended the workshop session.  Here she is shown sharing a light moment with MLK Celebration Committee Co-founder Eddie Rye (center) and 2016 Committee Co-Chair Bobby Alexander.  At left and right are committee members Wesley Hawkens and Marilyn Tukes.  Eddie was honored with the Skanner Foundation's Drum Major for Justice award for his long-time community activism.

   11:00 a.m.-12:15 p.m.    Rally 
with speakers, poetry, and music in the Gymnasium

A capacity crowd filled the Garfield HS gymnasium with many more people assembled outside to participate in the march.   Photo by Susan Fried.

 Below:  Planning Committee Co-chair Bobby Alexander addresses the crowd about the meaning of our Celebration.  Photo by Susan Fried.

12:30 p.m. March to Jackson Federal Building,
2nd & Madison, downtown Seattle

    ~1:45 p.m.    Outside Rally at Federal Building, time approximate

1:30 - 4 p.m.  Updated 1/16/16!
Click for Details
Information and Opportunity Fair
at Garfield High School, Seattle
info on education, job training and more


The 33rd Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Rally and March

The Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Committee 2015 theme was: 
Fight for Your Rights in 2015!

Click here for 2015 flyer (pdf)

King County's 33rd Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration!

 This year's theme to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s  legacy is Fight For Your Rights in 2015!

WHEN: Monday, January 19, 2015

Workshops – 9:00 to 9:50 AM
Click here for the list of 2015 workshops (updated 1/13/15 with room numbers and participants)

Click Here for Details of Rallies

Rally – 10:00AM to  11:00AM

Pre-March Speakers– 11:00 to 12:00 PM

March leaves Garfield HS -- 12:00PM

WHERE: Garfield High School (23rd and E. Jefferson St, Seattle)

We are honored to be joined this year by keynote speaker Jelani Brown, a young man from Ferguson, Missouri, who was involved in the organizing in response to the police killing of an unarmed Black teenager Mike Brown.  He will speak about his experiences growing up in the St. Louis area, organizing his community since Mike Brown's death, and a vision of this movement going forward.

Seattle has one of the largest annual Martin Luther King Day Celebrations in the U.S.  We honor the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., for his work toward racial equality and toward economic justice for all people, for his commitment to nonviolence, and for his stand against war and militarism.

Our theme this year "Fight for Your Rights in 2015!" reflects the unfinished work and our commitment to working toward Dr. King's goals.  As Dr. King said, "Three hundred years of humiliation, abuse and deprivation cannot be expected to find voice in a whisper."

Equally important to Dr. King, in addition to demanding equal rights, was to conduct the struggle in a principled manner, with self-disciplined activists using nonviolent means.  Speaking proudly of the demonstrations in Birmingham, Dr. King said that some spectators had thrown bottles, "But the demonstrators remained nonviolent.  In the face of this resolution and bravery, the moral conscience of the nation was deeply stirred."

Education was a big part of all of Dr. King's campaigns, for instance he said in 1961, "In our glorious fight for civil rights, we must guard against being fooled by false slogans, such as 'right to work.' It is a law to rob us of our civil rights and job rights.  Its purpose is to destroy labor unions ... "

In 1959, Dr. King made this call to the struggle, "As June approaches, with its graduation ceremonies and speeches, a thought suggests itself... Whatever career you may choose for yourself—doctor, lawyer, teacher—let me propose an avocation to be pursued along with it. Become a dedicated fighter for civil rights. Make it a central part of your life. It will make you a better doctor, a better lawyer, a better teacher. It will enrich your spirit as nothing else possibly can. It will give you that rare sense of nobility that can only spring from love and selflessly helping your fellow man . Make a career of humanity. Commit yourself to the noble struggle for human rights. You will make a greater person of yourself, a greater nation of your country, and a finer world to live in."

If Dr. King were alive today, he would be urging us all to "Fight for Your Rights in 2015!"

Information:  James Williams 253-883-9548 or Eddie Rye, Jr., 206-786-2763

Click Here for 2015 event flyer

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2013-2014 was the last year Larry Gossett chaired the Committee. He served on the Committee for over 20 years. The new Executive team was elected at the February meeting. The new Executive Team:
James Williams, Chair; Larry Tukes, Vice Chair; Renita Borders, Secretary; Julie Horowitz, Treasurer; Lacy Steele, Parliamentarian. Please contact Chair Williams at or Renita at
You can also forward questions or inquiries to the new Executive Committee members at 
The Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Committee 2014 theme was Rise Up! Restore the Dream!
The 32nd annual region-wide Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration was a huge success with nearly 6,000 participants! Continue to be active in your local and national communities to rise up and restore Dr. King's vision. The Committee will begin planning the 2015 salute to Dr. King in October 2014.
 "The problem of racism, the problem of economic exploitation, and the problem of war are all tied together. These are the triple evils that are interrelated."
-Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

History of the MLK Celebration Committee
The Martin Luther King Celebration Committee is composed of dozens of grassroots, labor, business, minority, and progressive community organizations and volunteers from throughout the Puget Sound region. Annually, these groups come together and organize our community's largest tribute to the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
read more

Accessibility information for people with disabilities:
There is a wheelchair accessible entrance on the backside of the school. This is the area near the track. The area is flat and provides access to the school building & gym. The parking lot in the back will be reserved, but Access vans will be permitted to drop people off. There is also an elevator that goes to the second floor.