Dr Martin Luther King, Jr Celebration

Lakewood Celebrates Its Diversity at 11th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration on January 18

  • WHAT: 11th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration
  • WHEN: 10 a.m. to noon, Saturday, January 18
  • WHERE: McGavick Conference Center, Clover Park Technical College, 4500 Steilacoom Boulevard SW, Lakewood
  • WHAT ELSE: Event will feature entertainment including cultural performances
  • COST: Free

Every day in Lakewood, residents celebrate the spirit of the “I Have A Dream” speech that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered more than 50 years ago.

But they don’t throw parties. They don’t hold rallies. They simply live and work in one of the most diverse communities in the state.

People with an array of ethnicities, cultures and backgrounds call Lakewood home. African American, Korean, Samoan, Latino, Russian - the list goes on. The community’s diversity, residents say, is one of its biggest strengths.

On January 18, the City of Lakewood will celebrate its cultural diversity with the 11th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration. This year’s theme - “The Dream Begins” – commemorates the 50th Anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

The free event is scheduled from 10 a.m. to noon, at the McGavick Conference Center at Clover Park Technical College, 4500 Steilacoom Boulevard SW, Lakewood.

Dennis Higashiyama, the City’s Recreation Coordinator, says the annual MLK celebration is something in which Lakewood takes plenty of pride.

“It’s a celebration of the diversity of the City,” he says. “It’s also a chance to showcase the talent of that diversity.”

The celebration features an array of cultural performances from Lakewood. This year’s lineup includes:

  • Total Experience Gospel Choir
  • Little Church Prairie Bells
  • Vorece Batchman-Miller
  • Korean Drummers – Chang Hee Suk
  • Life Christian Academy Choir
  • Fly Dancers – Lakewood YMCA
  • Kurt & Kelsey Sample
  • Morris Northcutt
  • Lakes Studio Choir
  • Grace’s Anointed

In addition, the winning Clover Park School District student in the Lakewood Arts Commission Essay contest will read his or her entry.

This year’s keynote speaker is Dr. Nancy Bristow, African American Studies professor University of Puget Sound. Bristow – who also works with the Race and Pedagogy Initiative – has written two books and has received several awards for her teaching, including selection as the Carnegie/CASE Washington State Professor of the Year in 2007.

Her Current Research Focuses on Several Incidents of State Violence Against African Americans During the Black Power Era.