To commemorate the life and legacy of civil rights legend Martin Luther King Jr., Contra Costa County is set to host a free community event during which two local humanitarians will be honored for their exemplary contributions.
Set to be held virtually on Tuesday (Jan. 19), Contra Costa County’s 43rd annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration Event will feature the winners of the county's Humanitarian of the Year awards, featuring the Adult Humanitarian of the Year Velma Wilson from Antioch and Student Humanitarian of the Year Kimyatta Newby, a recent graduate of Middle College High School in San Pablo.
"Contra Costa County welcomes the public to celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and help us honor a Humanitarian and Student Humanitarian of the Year. These honorees serve the residents of Contra Costa with dedication and heart. Together, we will commemorate Dr. King and commit to continuing our work together to address issues of racial injustice and inequality in our communities," Board of Supervisors Chair Diane Burgis said in a statement.
The theme of this year's awards was "Silence is Not an Option," recipients Newby and Wilson were specifically honored for their efforts to exemplify the life and legacy of Dr. King, as well as their commitment to improving the lives of their fellow Contra Costa County residents.
The celebration will feature a number of inspirational speakers and musical guests from the community, including Mike Anderson, former mayor of Lafayette; Iris Archuleta, co-founder Emerald HPC International; Merl Craft, mayor of Pittsburg; Rev. Phillip Lawson, retired pastor and civil rights activist; and Shanelle Scales-Preston, Pittsburg City Council member. The program also includes entertainment from the Contra Costa School of Performing Arts.
Residents can watch the virtual live-stream online at www.contracosta.ca.gov/6086 or www.contracostatv.org at 11 a.m. on Tuesday (Jan. 19). The celebration will also be broadcast live on Contra Costa Television (CCTV) channels, Comcast Cable 27, AT&T/U-Verse 99 and Wave 32.