For nearly three decades, the King Coalition has paved the way for people living in the Pasadena, Altadena, and surrounding communities to keep Dr. King’s legacy alive through community and bridge building.
In 1975, before the King Coalition was officially organized, a core group of 10 individuals were intricately involved in the work leading to making Dr. King’s birthday a national holiday.
Over the past 26 years, the King Coalition has sponsored the Martin Luther King Essay Contest encouraging students in the Pasadena Unified School District and local private schools to write essays addressing different aspects of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy.
In August 1985, a community meeting was convened at Scott United Methodist Church in Pasadena, California bringing together peace-, understanding-, and freedom-loving people to address some of the spiritual, educational, economic, employment, health, and welfare problems facing the community.
Beginning in 2003, the coalition introduced the art contest to include the growing pool of talented student visual artists. Notably, the combined entries from both the essay and art contests have numbered well into the thousands. To date,
- 20,000 students have entered the essay contest
- 2,585 young artists have submitted entries for the art contest
- All students who enter the contests receive certificates for their participation
Also, thousands of dollars have been awarded to students from elementary, middle school, and high schools during this period of time. All monetary awards come from donations from individuals and local organizations.