Martin Luther King Jr. addresses a crowd from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial where he delivered his famous, “I Have a Dream,” speech during the Aug. 28, 1963, march on Washington, D.C./U.S. Military photo

Spokane Celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Virtually

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Spokane Celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Virtually

By Emma Craven

While so many holidays and events have turned online to Zoom, Skype or social media, another holiday that has had to adapt locally is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

MLK Spokane

Normally, MLK Day in Spokane is made up of a large march in downtown in Spokane, but due to COVID, this march and so many other celebrations have had to be moved online. On Jan. 13, the City of Spokane hosted a virtual event. This event was hosted by City Councilor Betsy Wilkerson along with others from Spokane Public Schools Board, WSU and Gonzaga. The event started with watching the “I Have a Dream” speech and was followed with a discussion.

Wilkerson started by talking about the importance of working together by saying, “We are all God’s children.” She went on to talk about the system in Spokane, with regards to the African American community.

She called for unity and working together to “elevate the economics of all of our people,” adding, “Poverty is the unspoken diversity.”

Pray on MLK

Another way to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s legacy is through prayer. Pray on MLK, originally started in Missouri, is spreading across the country, including to Spokane.

The event in Spokane, hosted by Civil Righteousness- Washington, that takes place today (Jan. 18) at noon, at the MLK Family Outreach Center.

Ellie Hardy, of Civil Righteousness-Washington, said, “The event is targeted toward the faith-based community in Spokane. In response to today’s complex cultural issues, the idea is that those who follow Jesus would actually show up, speak against racism, and do whatever it takes to walk in love and unity with each other.”

While the event is called Pray on MLK, the event will consist of more than prayer.

Hardy said, “Our event today will consist of us writing a word on a white piece of tape and putting that over our mask/lips. This is significant as a representation of the purification of our speech. For so long we have spoken judgement, criticism (and) slander against those who are different than us. It also represents lamentation for those who have been silenced by racial injustice. We will sing together, pray together and hopefully continue to walk out of today with a desire to see more unification.”

Other MLK Events

The Martin Luther King Jr Family Outreach Center in Spokane is also hosting a wide variety of other events to honor MLK Day.

One of the virtual vents that are being offered is a MLK Day Run for Justice. This is a 5K run that you can run anywhere you’d like starting today (Jan. 18) to Jan 28 For more information on how to sign up for the Run for Justice 5K Virtual Race visit https://mlkspokane.org/.

Other events include a Drop-Off Food Drive, a Fundraiser at Wisconsin Burger and more that can be viewed at https://mlkspokane.org/.

About Emma Craven

Emma Craven is an undergraduate student at Gonzaga University majoring in English and Psychology. She is originally from Leavenworth and currently lives in Spokane with her family. She grew up in a half Jewish and half Catholic household. She has a writing background in news writing, poetry, and fiction pieces. She has previously been published in two of Gonzaga’s writing journals. Outside of school and work, you can find her swimming, reading, spending time with family, or watching Grey's Anatomy.

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