MEDFORD, Ore.– Hundreds gathered in Medford to celebrate the life and vision of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Sunday.
No matter the age, the life and teachings of Dr. King resonate with many.
“He gave me passion on how we should respect our own skin and how we should love our own skin too,” said Malik, a young volunteer who helped with the event.
“I love this quote of, ‘It’s not the words of your enemies, it’s the silence of your friends’ and so for me, that’s a call to action to say how am I advocating for other people,” said Becca Berman, a member of the planning committee for Medford MLK celebration.
Gathering at Central Medford High School, the celebration kicked off with performances singing and messages of freedom, diversity, and love. But one thing is clear.
“To impact my life and the lives of other people who look like me is just huge,” said Gina Duquenne, the keynote speaker for the celebration. “He opened doors, he brought to the attention of so many people the injustice that’s happening in the world that continues to happen.”
While the reverend may be gone, many see these celebrations as key to passing on his teachings to the next generation.
It also highlights, the contributions a great many African Americans have brought to this country and why we should all stop to listen.
“When you haven’t grown up with a lot of diversity, it’s hard to get outside of yourself and really look at what other people with a different lived experience walkthrough,” said Berman. “So this is a perfect opportunity for the community to come together and help educate each other and just help build that community.”
There will be two other celebrations on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
The first will be in Ashland. The celebration starts at 12 p.m. and runs until 1:45 p.m at the Historic Ashland Armory. Dr. King’s famous “I Have A Dream” speech will then be played at the Ashland Plaza.
The other celebration will be held at the Bethany Presbyterian Church in Grants Pass Monday night from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. All are welcome to attend.