Monthly Spotlight on MLKCC Member: Barbara Bigby

Barbara Bigby
MLKCC Member, Barbara Bigby

Article Written by Wayne Burton

This month’s spotlight is on Barbara Bigby, a very dedicated and active member of the Martin Luther King Community Coalition.  Barbara served as the secretary of this coalition for more than 14 years. She recently turned over those duties to another member. However, Barbara still continues to work with the middle school  essay contest as co-chairperson, and stays in contact with all the school s that enter students in our essay contests.  Barbara and her committee members read and judge over 300 entries each year.  This is quite a task for anyone, but that’s not all.

This magnificent lady taught school in Los Angeles and in Pasadena for 39 years. She is a member Of Scott United Methodist Church’s community outreach program, the Church Child Care Group, and she teaches Sunday School at the church as well. And as if this isn’t enough, Barbara finds time to participate in her Sunset Oak Association Neighborhood Watch group.

Barbara Bigby is a mother, grandmother of nine and a great grandmother of five wonderful children.

Thanks Barbara and best wishes to you and your family in the coming years.

New Movie, “Selma” Set for Christmas Release

SelmaSelma is the story of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s historic struggle to secure voting rights for all people – a dangerous and terrifying campaign that culminated with the epic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, and led to President Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

The movie is directed by Ava DuVernay and the cast includes David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King, Jr.; Cedric the Entertainer; Carmen Ejogo as Coretta Scott King; Tom Wilkinson as Lyndon Baines Johnson; Andre Holland as Andrew Young; and Omar J. Dorsey as James Orange.  Producers of the movie include heavy weights like Oprah Winfrey and Brad Pitt.

Setting up a major awards season push, Paramount Pictures and Pathe have set the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. drama “Selma” for a limited release in the U.S. on Christmas.  The film will open wide on January 9, 2015.

Source: and

Monthly Spotlight on MLKCC Member: Joan Reid

Joan Reid
MLKCC Member, Joan Reid

Article Written by Wayne Burton

This month we are honoring one of the Pasadena Martin Luther King Community Coalition’s very dedicated volunteers. As you may already know, our goal is to keep the dreams of Dr. King alive by working with the Pasadena Unified School District and all public and private schools in the area. All of our members are volunteers and many of us also work with other community groups that promote good will and better relations between all cultural groups.

This month’s spotlight is on Joan Reid, our October honoree. Joan is currently working with St. Andrews Church to hold a Spiritual Healing Mass for Victims of Violence and Crime.  On Wednesday, October 22, 2014, if you or someone close to you has suffered from violence or crime or may have caused violence to others, or if someone you know is incarcerated and needs prayer and conversion, all are invited to attend this special event of healing. Please bring a photograph of the loved ones for whom you would like to pray.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Saint Andrews Church
311 North Raymond Avenue
Pasadena, California 91103
Time: 7:00 PM

We congratulate Pasadena MLK Community Coalition member, Joan Reid, for her tireless efforts in bringing peace and unity to the community.

MLK Coalition Kicks off New Year with PUSD Superintendent McDonald

Picture with McDonald
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

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.