Although this year’s Kingdom Day Parade, the annual event to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, won’t be taking place in South Los Angeles today due to COVID concerns, that doesn’t mean you can’t honor the reverend and pioneering civil rights leader.
The parade’s board of directors made the decision to cancel the event—which typically includes floats, marching bands, drill teams, and attracts thousands of attendees yearly—in early January after the county released alarming COVID data.
The Martin Luther King Jr. Day national holiday is often observed a day of service. In fact, MLK’s 13-year-old granddaughter, Yolanda Renee King, told NBC News: “MLK Day is not a day off,” but instead, “it should be treated as a day on. It’s a day of service.”
But it was clear on Monday when vendors were setting up as early as 6 a.m. that even if the parade wasn’t taking place, a celebration for King would persist regardless, NBC Los Angeles reports. There are a number of MLK-related events happening today throughout Los Angeles and online, many of which are providing free COVID resources to the community.
Here are some of those events:
- At 9 a.m., the First AME Church of Los Angeles will host “The Hope Clinic,” a special vaccine event to commemorate MLK Day and provide people an opportunity to receive doses of the Pfizer, Moderna and J&J COVID vaccines and booster doses. The church is located at 2270 S. Harvard Blvd.
- At 9 a.m., The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Westside Coalition will hold its 37th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration on a virtual basis. Los Angeles Times columnist LZ Granderson will be the keynote speaker. The celebration will also include music by the Linda Alvarez Trio and spoken word by Get Lit: Words Ignite, which will also receive a Community Light Award. Education awards will be presented to students and a lifetime achievement award will be presented to longtime community activist LaVerne Ross. The celebration will be streamed via YouTube.
- At 10 a.m., Big Sunday will host its 10th annual MLK Day “New Clothing Collection and Community Breakfast.” The Hollywood-area block party will feature the collection, assembly and donation of 2,022 new cold-weather clothing kits. It takes place at 6111 Melrose Ave.
- At 10 a.m., the Harriet Tubman Center for Social Justice and other groups will host an MLK Day “Caravan for Social Justice,” to “reflect the true spirit of Dr. King.” The gathering begins at 10 a.m., and the caravan starts at 11 a.m. at the intersection of Western Avenue and MLK Boulevard.
- At 10 a.m., the Pasadena Martin Luther King Community Coalition will hold a virtual celebration which will be streamed live on its Youtube channel.
- At 10:30 a.m., LAUSD second-grader Isabella Blue, the Unite L.A. Foundation and other groups will host a Martin Luther King Jr. “Unity Skate and Walk” event, featuring music, giveaways, a birthday cake, walk-up COVID vaccines and testing and more. It takes place at Metro Rosa Parks Station, 11611 Willowbrook Ave.
- At 11 a.m., Community Organized Relief Effort and the Sutro Avenue-Southeast Leimert Block Club will host a COVID-19 vaccination and testing pop-up event. It takes place at Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza, 3650 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
- At 7 p.m., Carson will present its annual tribute to King with an evening celebration featuring songs, dance and inspirational words. The event will be livestreamed at ci.carson.ca.us/.
City News Service contributed to this report.
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