Monday, January 21, 2013

Martin Luther King Jr Birthday Celebration

A large crowd gathered in the Spokane Convention Center to hear several speeches honoring Dr. King and then participate in the march. I spoke to a number people in the convention center asking them various questions. Why are you here? What aspect of Dr. King's legacy resonates within you? If Dr. King were speaking today, what do you think he would say? What did you learn from Dr. King that you think you should impart to your children?

More on all that later, but one gentleman's comments struck me. He said Dr. King would tell us that the dream is not complete. That we have a long way to go. It's about more than just tolerance. It's about recognizing and accepting our differences. He swept his arm and said, "Look at all the people here today." He was pleased to see so many diverse faces present to honor Dr. King and the principles he worked for.

"But," he said as he held up a finger. "What happens tomorrow?"
The throng gathered outside the convention center and, led by the Rogers High School Drum Corps, walked one block south on Bernard and then turned west on Main. City leaders, community leaders, school children, parents, grandparents, activists and more carried signs and banners, pushed strollers, and walked the 2240 feet to their destination, the Post Street entrance to Riverpark Square Mall. Inside the atrium, drummers from the Community School entertained the people who stayed. A resource fair was nearby and free hot chocolate was provided to help counter the 19-degree march. When offered the opportunity, a few people spoke about what this day meant for them. As the floor cleared and people faded away, that gentleman's question came back to mind.

What happens tomorrow?

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