Celebrating 50 Years of “A Dream”

The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom or The Great March on Washington, was one of the largest political rallies for human rights in United States history and called for civil and economic rights for African Americans. It took place in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, August 28, 1963. Martin Luther King, Jr., standing in front of the Lincoln Memorial, delivered his historic I Have a Dream speech advocating racial harmony during the march.

The march was organized by a group of civil rights, labor, and religious organizations, under the theme “jobs, and freedom.” It is estimated that approximately 200,000 to 300,000 people attended. Observers estimated that 75–80% of the marchers were African Americana and the remaining marchers identified with other ethnic or racial origins.

The magnitude of the march is widely credited with helping to pass the Civil Rights Act (1964) and the Voting Rights Act (1965).

[Video Copyrighted by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 1963. Authorized by The King Center, Atlanta, GA. For more information about building Dr. King’s Beloved Community, visit www.thekingcenter.org]

Initially, organizers disagreed over the purpose of the march. The NAACP and Urban League saw it as a gesture of support for a civil rights bill that had been introduced by the Kennedy Administration. On the other hand, Randolph, King, and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) saw it as a way of raising both civil rights and economic issues to national attention beyond the Kennedy bill. A third group, comprised by both the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) saw it as a way of challenging and condemning the Kennedy administration’s inaction and lack of support for civil rights for African Americans.

Ultimately, the various civil rights groups involved agreed that the march should address the following universal goals:


Passage of meaningful civil rights legislation; Immediate elimination of school segregation; A program of public works, including job training, for the unemployed; A Federal law prohibiting discrimination in public or private hiring; A $2-an-hour minimum wage nationwide; Withholding Federal funds from programs that tolerate discrimination; Enforcement of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution by reducing congressional representation from States that disenfranchise citizens; A broadened Fair Labor Standards Act to currently excluded employment areas; Authority for the Attorney General to institute injunctive suits when constitutional rights are violated.

On August 28, 2013, America celebrates the 50th anniversary of the seminal speech of the American civil rights movement, Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. King’s messages still have a lasting and universal impact. Share your dream! #IDREAM and join us on August 26 at 6am EST for a global viewing party of the March on Washington here: at the CO.NX virtual portal http://goo.gl/u34BPC

You’re Invited to the YWCA 11th Annual Women for Racial Justice Breakfast

The Pasadena MLK Community Coalition is pleased to invite you to support the YWCA Pasadena-Foothill Valley’s 11th Annual Women for Racial Justice Breakfast. Last year, 550 of Pasadena’s community leaders gathered to honor the National Hispanic Media Coalition for its accomplishments in helping advance American Latino employment and programming equity throughout the entertainment industry. Guests had the pleasure of hearing from Dolores Huerta, lifelong advocate for women’s equality, immigration rights, and social justice causes. On Monday, October 21, 2013, the YWCA will hold its 11th Annual Women for Racial Justice Breakfast at the Pasadena Hilton Hotel from 7:30 to 9:30 am.

This year’s event will feature keynote speaker Annalisa Enrile, PhD, who brings awareness to social issues in the Filipino-American community, and has been a vocal activist against human trafficking and violence against women. Our 2013 Racial Justice Award recipient will be Jacqueline Jacobs, PhD. Dr. Jacobs has served as Co-Chair of the Pasadena City College President’s African American Advisory Committee, and is currently the President of the Pasadena Martin Luther King Community Coalition. We are thrilled to present her with the Racial Justice Award this year!

Can we count on your support this year?

Simply pledge or purchase by August 31 and your name (or the name you designate) will be listed on the invitation and program as a:

    Community Benefactor ($800 if paid before September 30, $900 thereafter): Table of 10 and two tickets to the 2014 Women’s Leadership & Networking Day

    Community Advocate ($600 if paid before September 30, $700 thereafter): Table of 10


Should filling your 10 seats pose a challenge, the YWCA can help; you have the option of donating any number of seats back for community members served by its programs.

The Women for Racial Justice Breakfast continues to be a unique, inspirational community event because the YWCA continues to be an innovative and cutting edge organization in its empowerment of women and girls in our community. Please save the date and reply by email or phone regarding your reservation, or make your purchase online. If you have questions, please contact Jessica Kubel at the YWCA: (626) 296-8433 or by email at jkubel@ywca-pasadena.org.

Talent Wins the Race: More 2013 Winning Campuses

As we near the finish of the spring semester and our academic year 2013, we celebrate with some more of the schools where winners of this year’s contests raise the bar of talent and achievement!
5th Grader Kacie Ossmen600

Our elementary division winner for the Essay Contest, 5th grader Kacie Ossmen and Principal Mrs. Esther Salinas!

At Eliot Middle School, only winners report to the principals office! We salute you!  The beautiful Altadena campus of Eliot Middle School managed and inspired by an inspired staff.
Sierra Madre Elementary School

Sierra Madre School has a stellar history of winners in the Pasadena MLK Community Coalition Essay and Art contest.

New Literary Festival Descends upon Pasadena May 11

Southern California is not so much a region known for showcasing the literary arts as it is the heart and soul of Hollywood. But in recent years, high-profile book festivals such as The LA Times Festival of Books, along with a number of other writer-specific celebrations have descended upon SoCal. Another, new event will take place in Pasadena, California on Saturday, May 11 from 10am-5pm. It is LitFest Pasadena 2.0 and will bring some of our area’s more diverse groundbreaking writers and performance artists to the stage. In addition, there is a writing contest open to local aspiring writers. Check it out here.

It is LitFest Pasadena and here is how the organizers describe the event:

LitFest Pasadena 2.0 will feature more than 75 authors, storytellers, performers, and exhibitors for a day that will explore an eclectic mix of subjects such as Southern California surf culture, local history, children’s and young adult literature, and more. Confirmed guests include:

JONATHAN GOLD, Pulitzer-Prize winning Los Angeles Times food critic, in conversation with the “626 Foodettes.”

REYNA GRANDE, American Book Award winner for “Across a Hundred Mountains,” speaking as a member of a panel exploring Latino literature.

KATE DURBIN, Los Angeles-based writer, performer, and founding editor of the online journal “Gaga Stigmata,” performing on and off stage.

HISTORY LIT, a project of the theater troupe Unbound Productions, performing a Harriet Beecher Stowe story.

ALAN BRENNERT, Emmy award-winning writer/producer of L.A. Law, speaking on a panel about his new novel.

BOB BAKER MARIONETTE THEATER, a treasured Los Angeles institution for more than 50 years, presenting a children’s performance.
More than 50 exhibitors will entice attendees with a variety of products, services, and activities. LitFest’s unbeatable price—free—and easy access (just steps from the Central Park Gold Line station) will make for a fantastic day for all!

National Day of Service 2013

In 1994, Congress designated the Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Holiday as a national day of service and charged the Corporation for National and Community Service with leading this effort. Taking place each year on the third Monday in January, the MLK Day of Service is the only federal holiday observed as a national day of service – a “day on, not a day off.” The MLK Day of Service is a part of United We Serve, the President’s national call to service initiative. It calls for Americans from all walks of life to work together to provide solutions to our most pressing national problems. The MLK Day of Service empowers individuals, strengthens communities, bridges barriers, creates solutions to social problems, and moves us closer to Dr. King’s vision of a “Beloved Community.” Read more ant the National Day of Service website.

The Pasadena MLK Community Coalition has been participating in this event over the years by focusing on the Pasadena Unified School district to beautify campuses and enlist the help of school staff members to commemorate the day. This year, the Coalition focused on John Muir High School.