NewsLocal News


San Luis Obispo community reflects on life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King

Posted at 11:52 PM, Jan 20, 2020

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — Communities across the country came together Monday to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

This year's MLK Day comes at a time when many argue the country couldn't be more divided.

Event organizers of the celebration in San Luis Obispo say it's important to continue to have moments of reflection to remember everything Dr. King stood for and how everyday people can speak out against injustices.

Over 50 years have gone by since the death of Martin Luther King Jr. and many in the community believe there is still work that needs to be done for civil rights--both nationally and even locally.

"[Dr. King] would be disappointed because they're trying to take us back, and I'm here to let everyone know we're not going back--we're moving forward," said Cheryl Vines, Co-founder of the NAACP San Luis Obispo County chapter.

"In a community like ours that lacks diversity, it's more important to amplify voices that have been marginalized or historically under represented," said Courtney Haile of R.A.C.E. Matters San Luis Obispo County.

On Monday, Congregation Beth David in San Luis Obispo hosted an event bringing together several different facets of the community to honor the life and legacy of Dr. King.

"Jews have experienced a similar type of discrimination and being outcast from society throughout their history--the same of African Americans who come to America. So there's always been a joining and leadership throughout the civil rights movement," said Ron Baers of Congregation Beth David.

Organizers of the event say it's important to remain inspired by Martin Luther King Jr. and continue pushing toward his ideals of spreading love and light.

"It's really easy to stay in our little corners and it's really easy to forget about peoples stories; it's only when we come together do we learn and live out that message of love," said Lauren Bandari, Executive Director of the JCC Federation of San Luis Obispo.

This event is tied into the San Luis Obispo Jewish Film Festival and included a screening of the last film of the this year's festival: "Our Friend Martin."

Event organizers say the celebration of the life of Dr. King has been taking place at Congregation Beth David for over five years.