“The aftermath of nonviolence is the creation of the beloved community. The aftermath of nonviolence is redemption. The aftermath of nonviolence is reconciliation. The aftermath of violence is emptiness and bitterness.”
The Beloved Community
The City of Tacoma’s signature event, the 29th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration will bring us together to understand his vision of his Beloved Community. It is a global vision, in which all people can share in the wealth of the earth. In the Beloved Community, poverty, hunger and homelessness will not be tolerated because international standards of human decency will not allow it. Racism and all forms of discrimination, bigotry and prejudice will be replaced by an all-inclusive spirit of sisterhood and brotherhood. We encourage the entire community to join together to celebrate Monday, January 16 2017 as a day on, not a day off.
The event will feature keynote speaker Harold Moss, Tacoma's first African American Council Member and Mayor. Mr. Moss has been active in the Tacoma community since the 1950s when he was a member of the local branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). He served two terms as president of the branch. He also served on Tacoma’s first Human Relations Commission, currently known as the Human Rights Commission. In 1968, Moss helped create the Tacoma Urban League.
The celebration will include music, dance, and poetry that highlight the strength, resiliency and creativity of young men of color. Performances will focus on Dr. King’s relationship with communities, how he challenged and changed our nation, and his message to honor the dignity and rights of every person.
The Martin Luther King , Jr. Community Service Award
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Service Award recognizes and encourages excellence in community service activities, carried out by an individual or a group.
Location, Date and Time
The event is expected to draw roughly 2,000 - 3,000 adults and children.
Attendees are encouraged to bring donations of non-perishable food items for the MLK Food Drive benefiting Emergency Food Network.
In addition to free holiday on-street parking and free parking at Freighthouse Square located at 2501 E. D Street. Freighthouse Square is is easily accessible via LINK Light Rail from the Convention Center stop. There will also be signage and personnel directing event attendees to designated complimentary parking stalls that will be made available on a first-come, first-served basis at the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center.
City Events and Recognition Committee
The Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration program is spearheaded by a City Council-appointed City Events and Recognition Committee. The Committee is comprised of local community leaders from a broad array of backgrounds and areas of expertise.
The City Events and Recognition Committee serves as an advisory and action committee on matters pertaining to City-hosted events and special recognition programs. Members are responsible for planning, reviewing and evaluating events, engaging the community in its fundraising efforts, and soliciting corporate and private sponsorships to leverage funds for City-hosted events such as the Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration.
The Celebration Will Be Televised
The Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration is also covered and aired on TV Tacoma, which is carried on both the Click! and Comcast Cable systems.