An NPR member station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Spokane Celebrates Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday

mlk_march_4_2.jpg
Doug Nadvornick/SPR
/

One of Spokane’s traditions is its annual celebration of the federal holiday that marks the birthday of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior.

Today [Monday], people from several generations kept the tradition alive with a rally in the convention center and a march through downtown Spokane.

Many of the people marching Monday weren’t alive when Dr. King was assassinated in 1968. And yet, several people, younger folks especially, carried the words of the late civil rights leader with them.

mlk_march_12_2.jpg
Credit Doug Nadvornick/SPR
/

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” read a sign carried by a woman who identified herself as Arlondra.

"I’m from Seattle, Washington and I feel like where I grew up it was more of a very diverse community and I came here to eastern Washington and I feel like it’s been kind of hard to feel like where I could find a home and find people who look like me. And so I feel like this a great moment to bring everyone together to show that people are here to support me," she said.

Not far away, a trio of Whitworth University students were also toting signs.  Aeron Sugui also quoted Dr. King.

"It states, ‘We must live together as brothers or perish together as fools. I believe it’s a very simple quote, but it’s very impactful. I believe in diversity, inclusion, peace, love and unity. What’s a better way to celebrate that than by being here," he said.

His friend Gloria Liu’s sign read, “We may have different religions, language, color of skin, but we’re one human race.” Alexis Mondragon’s sign referred to the dream Dr. King spoke about at the Lincoln Memorial in 1963. Her parents came from Mexico.  

“It was really important for my culture and others as well to feel welcome in this community since we all came for the same reasons, to grow as people, safe homes as children and for every generation after," she said.

And do you feel welcome here?

“Oh absolutely.” And yet, she says, there’s still room for the community to grow.