Marches were held in Palm Springs and Desert Hot Springs in honor of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., one of the world's most recognized civil rights leaders. Valley residents share how they want to see his legacy live on in the valley while they march.
In Desert Hot Springs, the Arts Foundation of D.H.S. and Living Word in the Desert hosted a March and festival to celebrate Dr. King's birthday, life, and legacy. "It sends a message out to other valley cities that we need to come together, and it's okay to march," says Adam Sanchez, the director of operations for the Arts Foundation of Desert Hot Springs.
In Palm Springs, the Section 14 descendants and survivors hosted a Palm Springs Cross-Cultural Groups Unite With Section 14 Survivors In March For Justice. "We are raising our voices, the voices that to make the society aware of the injustices and the freedoms that not only section 14 is seeking," says Pearl Devers. "But for all people."
In Palm Springs, former Senator Barbara Boxer and Section 14 survivor Pearl Devers joined various desert organizations to honor the king and show solidarity for their cause. They walked a full mile to the United Methodist Church of Palm Springs." I think what the people here, the folks here at the church, are thinking is Martin Luther King; he stood for justice; he stood for fairness; he stood for opportunity."
Boxer shared her support for the Section 14 descendants and survivors. "I'm hoping is that we can all get together here in Palm Springs, and not have to go to court and not have to go to Sacramento for legislation and just resolve this by looking at the survivors and what happened to them and making them whole," says Boxer. "We're just looking at making these people whole who lost their homes, and they lost their homes, and there was prejudice involved."
In Desert Hot Springs, they also challenged their local government. "We're challenging the city now to provide scholarships to the faith-based organizations to do the programs clean up the area because that's the only way you can clean those hot springs is working with faith base, like Dr. King was expressing unity and peace together," says Sanchez
There were organizations like El Club De Mujeres Latinas that were highlighting access to education for all people. "I put it all with the community together, united to help students in need for scholarships. "
At the festival in Desert Hot Springs, organizers and vendors with booths say, "We're helping everybody, no matter the race, color, or social status. We help everybody."
The march ended with a dancing, art, music, and food festival. All the participants we talked to said, "It's about building community." The organizers shared that the march is something they plan to do for Cesar Chavez Day in March. They hope the demonstrations will encourage more people to unite to continue Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King's dream of building a healthy community.