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Fresno-Area Events Will Celebrate Life and Legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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The life and legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. will be celebrated across Fresno and Clovis starting today. (GV Wire Composite)
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A series of events across Fresno and Clovis are scheduled to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., starting today and continuing through Monday, the official holiday for local, state, and federal governments, schools, post offices, banks, and other businesses.

Today:

  • The Fresno Metro Black Chamber of Commerce will hold its sixth annual Business Salute Martin Luther King Jr. Luncheon. Pastor DJ Criner will be the keynote speaker. The luncheon starts at 11:30 a.m. and will be at the DoubleTree by Hilton, 2233 Ventura St., Fresno. Tickets are $30 for members and $40 for nonmembers. Register here.
  • The annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Educational Contest culminates with an Art Exhibition and Awards Program honoring students and their hard work. The open house exhibition of student work will begin at 5:30 p.m., followed by the awards ceremony and student performances starting at 6:30 p.m. The free event will be at the Clovis Veterans Memorial District, Liberty Ballroom, 808 Fourth St., Clovis.

Friday

  • The annual Garlanding Ceremony will be held at 11:45 a.m. in Courthouse Park in downtown Fresno. Dr. Michele Cantwell-Copher, Fresno County Superintendent of Schools, will deliver the keynote address. The ceremony also will include the Fresno Unified School District Black Student Union and King Elementary School Dancers.
  • Clovis Community College’s celebration of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. includes the screening of “Selma — One Dream Can Change the World.” The free event starts at noon and will be in Academic Center 1, Room 150. Participants may pick up a shirt for Monday’s annual downtown Fresno march.
  • The Fresno Community Awards program will start at 5 p.m. at Fresno City Hall, 2600 Fresno St. The keynote speaker will be Rev. Dr. Robert M. Franklin, president emeritus of Morehouse College in Atlanta and professor of moral leadership at Emory University in Atlanta. The awardees are Fresno Unified Trustee Keshia Thomas, Educational Leadership Award; Rabbi Rick Winer, Temple Beth Israel, Community Leadership Award; and Rev. Chester Riggins, Les Kimber Community Service Award. A reception will follow the ceremony.

Saturday

  • The annual Community Breakfast Honoring Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., hosted by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Unity Committee and Clovis Police Department, will be from 9 a.m. to noon at California Health Sciences University, 2500 Alluvial Ave. This year’s theme is “Forty Years Later: Reflecting on the Past, Pursuing a Future of Inclusivity and Solidarity,” and the keynote speaker will be Dr. Kim Armstrong, president of Clovis Community College. Tickets are $5, and reservations are required. For information on tickets, email Erin Ford at ErinF@cityofclovis.com.

Sunday

  • A candlelight vigil will be at 5 p.m. at Martin Luther King Elementary School, 1001 E. Florence Ave., Fresno. For more information, call Dr. Sudarshan Kapoor at (559) 435-2212.

Monday

  • A community march and commemoration ceremony will be held in downtown Fresno. Marchers will assemble at 9:30 a.m. at St. Johns Cathedral, 2814 Mariposa Ave. The march will begin at 10 a.m. and proceed to Fresno City Hall, then to the Veterans Memorial Auditorium at 2425 Fresno St., where the commemoration ceremony will start at 11 a.m. The program will include keynote speaker Tara Lynn Gray, director of the California Office of Small Business Advocate, plus other speakers, dancers, and other tributes. Admission is free.

Nancy Price is a multimedia journalist for GV Wire. A longtime reporter and editor who has worked for newspapers in California, Florida, Alaska, Illinois and Kansas, Nancy joined GV Wire in July 2019. She previously worked as an assistant metro editor for 13 years at The Fresno Bee. Nancy earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. Her hobbies include singing with the Fresno Master Chorale and volunteering with Fresno Filmworks. You can reach Nancy at 559-492-4087 or Send an Email

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