It was the kickoff to many MLK events in the Coachella Valley this weekend, an MLK Town Hall held at First Community Baptist Church in Desert Hot Springs. News Channel 3’s Caitlin Thropay was there and brings us more about how people are remembering Martin Luther King Jr. this weekend.
The event opened with prayer and following was a Q & A session involving several dignitaries from around the Coachella Valley taking questions from the audience on a variety of topics. Some of those topics including public transformation, how to address the bullying crisis in local schools and more.
While many gathered hoping to brainstorm ways to make the community a better place, a common thread, the significance of Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy and how he helped make the nation a better place today.
One man who attended the town hall remembers seeing Martin Luther King Jr. in person.
“It was August 16, 1965," Tommy Enge said. “Martin Luther King was coming through our community in the motorcade and I got to see him as he was driving down 103rd,” he added.
He recalls the significance of Martin Luther King Jr. during that time.
“The nation itself was divided because black people were deprived of equal rights,” he said. “He wanted to bring people together and I see a vast improvement of that today because America is a melting pot of many different cultures and this is why this country has come to be a great nation, I think, because of what the people came here and dedicated to do and Martin Luther King was a big part of that,” he added.
This is just one of the many MLK events happening this weekend.
Chair of the MLK town hall, Cheryll Newill welcomes the community to come back on Monday to hear from more guest speakers on the theme: Rebuilding the dream with love. One of the guest speakers is Rev. Lloyd N. Ellis Jr., the Pastor of Second Baptist Church of Indio.
“We invited the schools of DHS, elementary, middle and high schools to write about what they know about Martin Luther King in an essay from 500 to 1000 words and they all turned them in. The winners, of course, get a prize,” Newill said.
Those winning essays will be read on Monday's MLK celebration event also at First Community Baptist Church located at 66-272 First Street in Desert Hot Springs.
On Sunday, another MLK celebration will take place at St. Paul's in Palm Springs starting at 2 p.m.