Celebrating Martin Luther King Jr.

“We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”

On the eve of MLK day, various events around the Bay Area are taking place to offer remembrance and knowledge of the life and times of King Jr.

Arturo Hilario / El Observador

Throughout the Bay Area there will be honors bestowed and speeches spoken for a man whose legacy burns bright whenever the terms “civil rights” and “dreams” come up.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is on Monday January 18th but this coming weekend will have a great selection of events, collectively known as MLK2016, that will feature a wealth of activities and information relating to King and his vision. The bulk of these events are being curated by The Northern California Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Foundation, a charitable services organization which runs community initiatives such as health information and art immersion.

One of the main focuses on MLK Day will be the train ride to San Francisco. Caltrain will operate a “Celebration Train” on January 18, to honor Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. The Celebration Train is a free event that will depart from San Jose’s Diridon Caltrain Station at 9:45 am, making stops at Palo Alto (10:05 am) and San Mateo (10:22 am) stations before arriving in San Francisco around 10:55 am.

The Celebration The Celebration Train will feature the theme “The Reality of the Dream”, and will “focus on the progress made with the civil rights movement, while examining the present reality and the commitment to a brighter future.”

Last year the “Freedom Train”, which embarked on a similar schedule as the Celebration Train, ran its final journey on Caltrain after more than 30 years of collaboration with the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Association of Santa Clara Valley. Now the The Northern California Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Foundation picks up and continues the tradition of honoring the progress and history of not only King, but of his peers and anyone who stood up for Civil Rights, in a time where it was much too risky, but much necessary for voices to be loud.

Coretta Scott King, King’s widow, began the process of operating Freedom Trains in many areas of the country (shortly after King’s assassination in 1968) as a method of commemorating the iconic march from Montgomery to Selma, Alabama in 1965.

The Celebration Train is part of a multi-event weekend that highlights celebration programs, a march and parade, lectures and a music festival. Beginning Friday January 15th (through Monday) MLK2016 will feature various events at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Caltrain Stations, Koret Auditorium, Grace Cathedral and the Creativity Theater. These events range from a health and wellness festival, a MLK2016 March and Parade, lectures and film screenings of “Dirt and Deeds in Mississippi” and “John Brown’s Body at San Quentin Prison”, among others.

Additional MLK 2016 events will include opportunities for volunteer work throughout the Bay Area in the MLK Day of Service. Some of these opportunities include helping at Lake Merritt, Martin Luther King Jr. Regional Shoreline Park, Shepard Canyon Park and the Presidio.

In addition to Caltrain, BART will provide commemorative MLK passes, which also serve as complimentary round-trip transportation to and from the MLK events. MTA will also provide complimentary service to the parade in San Francisco.

With all these events in mind, it’s safe to say that the profound effects of the 60’s, and King’s message ripple into our everyday lives, and that through our diversity in America, regardless of religion, personal beliefs, or birthplace, we now share memory, a pursuit of happiness, and dreams. As King said in 1963, “With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.”

Together we can share our stories, and define the future, starting from our own backyards. From Selma to The Bay. More info of the MLK 2016 events at sfmlkday.org

Also on MLK Day 2016
More loval events can be found at tinyurl.com/h9tspeb

Kids Activities at MOAD: MLK Day 

Mon Jan 18 Sidewalk chalk art from 1-3 pm, Musical storytelling performances at 2:30 & 3:30 pm;,Scavenger hunt from  11 am- 5 pm SoMA, Museum of the  African Diaspora 685 Mission St  San Francisco, Ca Free

Dreams of Freedom poster workshop  

Mon Jan 18 11 am-5 pm Contemporary Jewish Museum 736 Mission Street San Francisco, CA 415.655.7800 $12/adults; children 18 and under are free  (museum admission)

36th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Luncheon 

Mon Jan 18 12:00 pm  San Jose Scottish Rite Center 2455 Masonic Dr San Jose, CA $40 – $75 Register: http://www.sjaacsa.org/mlkluncheon/

Presidio Day of Service

Mon Jan 18 9 am–12:30 pm Meet at Ft. Scott Field Storey Ave & Ralston Ave. San Francisco, Ca Register: presidio.gov Free

Lakeside Park in Lake Merritt

Mon Jan 18 8:30 am – 12 pm 666 Bellevue Ave. Oakland, Ca  510-427-1605 Register: allforgood.org Free

Martin Luther King Jr. Regional  Shoreline Park

Mon, Jan. 18 8:30 am – 12 pm Damon Marsh, MLK Park Access from Oakport St. 510-562-1373 Register: activecommunities.com