Pasadena MLK Community Coalition

Keeping the Dream of Martin Luther King Alive!

Pasadena MLK Community Coalition - Keeping the Dream of Martin Luther King Alive!

MLK Coalition Kicks off New Year with PUSD Superintendent McDonald

2014 MLK Kick Off Meeting at PUSD

MLK Coalition and PUSD gear up for a new year (L-R: Dr. Jackie Jacobs, Dr. Brian McDonald, Tom Selinske, Dr. Ayesha Randall, Dr. David Jacobs).

The Martin Luther King Community Coalition officially kicked off the new 2014-2015 Essay and Art Contest year at the Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD) with new interim superintendent, Dr. Brian McDonald and PUSD Board Member, Tom Selinske.

Dr. David and Jackie Jacobs presented the new 2014-2015 MLK Community Coalition Essay and Art Contest packet.  They also gave a report on the previous year, explained the processes and procedures of the contest, discussed recent updates to the contest packet, and unveiled a new contest category.

This year the contest packet is available in both paper and electronic formats and contains an updated book and multimedia resource list that includes hyperlinks to the Pasadena Public Library online catalog.

Dr. Jackie Jacobs, president of MLK Community Coalition, also shared that in addition to the traditional visual arts competition, a performing arts division will be added–for dance, music (vocal and instrumental), spoken word, and poetry submissions–and slated to begin in the 2015-2016 academic year.  While the logistical details are being developed this year, the new art chair will inform community organizations, churches and other groups of the added category and invite musical ensembles, vocalists, and choirs from local public and private schools to perform at this year’s 2014-2015 series of activities, including the annual MLK Day Celebration at Jackie Robinson Park, to showcase what is to come in the future.

Both the interim superintendent and board member expressed their support and continued commitment to the annual Pasadena Martin Luther King, Jr. Essay and Art Contest and holiday activities.  They will be following through with distributing the information to the schools and principals, encouraging the music departments in the schools to perform in the MLK holiday events, and displaying the winning art in the Pasadena Unified School District office and website.

The MLK Community Coalition is currently seeking funding from individuals and organizations that are interested in supporting the new performing arts divison of the contest.  For more information, please contact Dr. Ayesha Randall at esha_bell@yahoo.com.

Concert for Peace Benefitting New MLKCC Scholarship

Eisenlord and JacobsOn Saturday, September 6, 2014, Reverend Rick Eisenlord of Good Shepherd Church Pasadena presented the Martin Luther King Community Coalition with a $500 donation to its new scholarship for at-risk minority students.

The generous donation came from the proceeds from the “Concert for Peace” on August9, 2014 at 7:00 pm, an annual event given by the Westminster Presbyterian Church, Good Shepherd Church Pasadena, and the San Gabriel Valley Gay & Lesbian Center.

Performances included an eclectic lineup of music from a community choir, jazz and blues band, and gospel and pop genres.  Reverend Rick Eisenlord, the visionary of the event is the pastor of Good Shepherd Church Pasadena and the founder of the San Gabriel Valley Gay and Lesbian Center.

Peace & Justice Academy Partners with the MLKCC

peace and justice academy logoSharing a common goal of freedom, justice, and equality, longtime participants in the Martin Luther King Community Coalition Essay and Art Contest, The Peace and Justice Academy located at 2033 E. Washington Boulevard in Pasadena, California has partnered with the MLK Community Coalition to provide two full scholarships to students participating in this year’s essay contest.

Students who enter the essay competition and indicate that they are interested in the scholarship will have an opportunity to win a three-year tuition free scholarship to the middle school or a four-year tuition free scholarship to the high school.

Candidates for the scholarship will be judged by a committee from The Peace & Justice Academy and winners will be announced at the annual MLK Day Celebration on January 19, 2015 at Robinson Park located at 1091 N. Fair Oaks Boulevard, Pasadena, California.  To be eligible for the scholarship, students must participate in the essay contest, but do not have to be winners.

Dr. Jackie Jacobs, president of the Martin Luther King Community Coalition, welcomed the opportunity to work with the Peace & Justice Academy.

MLK Day Celebration 2014

Celebrate MLKOn Monday, January 20, 2014 at 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., at Robinson Park, the Martin Luther King Community Coalition, Pasadena Unified School District, Pasadena Tournament of Roses, and Aspires West of Pasadena in conjunction with the city of Pasadena, National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, Inc., Gamma Lambda chapter presents the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday breakfast and celebration.  Families, friends, community members, local and state political leaders will be in attendance as student winners are announced and presented with awards for their participation in the MLK Community Coalition Essay and Art Contest.

The day is filled with music, speakers, dancers, food, and more.  See the agenda below for an overview of the day:

  • 8:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m.:  “Freedom March” Documentary and Breakfast
  • 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.:  King Holiday Celebration and Program
  • 12:30 p.m.:  Lunch

Robinson Park is located at 1081 North Fair Oaks Avenue in Pasadena, California.  Send an email to info@pasadenamlk.com for more information.

A Day On – Not Off

landscaping2For over 10 years now, on the Saturday before the official MLK Day of Service, it is our tradition to provide a local school with volunteers to provide landscaping and campus beautification services.  Students and their families, along with members from the surrounding communities all come out to work together toward a common cause.  This year is no different.  On Saturday, January 18, 2014 from 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m., we will plant flowers and do several maintenance tasks at Franklin Elementary School located at 527 W. Ventura Street in Altadena, California.

Senior pastor Billie Keller from New Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church will be the keynote speaker, and afterwards, we will enjoy a nice lunch and entertainment from the students from Franklin.  This is a cooperation between Martin Luther King Community Coalition and Pasadena Unified School District and Ms. Caroline Bermudez, the school principal of Franklin.

Much gratitude goes out to longtime project coordinators Al Bailey and Joan Reid, and all of the members of the Martin Luther King Coalition.  For more information, call Mr. Bailey at (626) 355-1583.

Rekindling the Light

rekindlingSaturday, January 11, 2014 at 10 a.m., the Pasadena Human Relations Committee held their 13th Annual “Rekindling the Light of Peace” program inside the City Council Chambers of Pasadena City Hall. It is the opening event leading to the Martin Luther King holiday.

UC Berkeley student senator, John Muir High School alumnus and former Altadena NAACP Youth Council President Destiny Iwuoma was the keynote speaker.  Iwuoma paralleled Dr. King’s struggle for racial and economic justice in the 1960s with contemporary issues of educational access, income inequality and the prison industrial complex.

The Martin Luther King Community Coalition, which began its relationship with the Pasadena Human Relations Commission thirteen years ago, for the city’s very first “Rekindling the Light of Peace” program, was also represented by Dr. Jacqueline Jacobs who shared information about the Coalition’s upcoming annual events celebrating MLK Day 2014.

Also part of the program was columnist, broadcaster, and motivational speaker Cameron Turner and Good Shepard Church Choir of Pasadena.