Events, News Release

Hayward to Celebrate Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Acclaimed MLK birthday celebration enters 29th year

January 7, 2015

(HAYWARD, CA) – The world’s preeminent Martin Luther King Jr. historian will headline what has become one of the Bay Area’s most respected annual MLK Jr. remembrance events on Monday, January 19 at 4:30 p.m., at the Chabot College Buffington Visual & Performing Arts Center. Admission is free.

Hayward’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. birthday celebration has steadily grown in stature since its inception in
1986. Last year, audience members enjoyed a keynote presentation by Dr. Melba Beals, a member of the “Little Rock Nine” and a giant of the Civil Rights Movement in her own right. This year, those in attendance will hear from Dr. Clayborne Carson, the director of Stanford University’s Martin Luther King Jr. Research and Education Institute.

Selected in 1985 by Mrs. Coretta Scott King to edit and publish the papers of her late husband, Dr. Carson has devoted most his professional life to the study of Martin Luther King, Jr., and the movements he inspired. Under Dr. Carson's direction, the King Papers Project has produced seven volumes of The Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr., the definitive, comprehensive edition of King's speeches, sermons, correspondence, publications, and unpublished writings. Dr. Carson has also edited numerous other books based on King's papers.

“This event compliments the 50th anniversary of Civil Rights in America and is a visible testament to Hayward’s commitment to diversity and community awareness,” said Stan “Data” Dobbs Superintendent & CEO of HUSD.

The celebration, co-produced by the City of Hayward, the Hayward Unified School District, Chabot College and the Hayward South-Alameda County NAACP, will also feature a strong performing arts component, including performances by Mt. Eden High School’s choir and jazz band, CSUEB’s Iota Phi Theta fraternity step team and the 2014 Made in Hayward Step Off winners from Southgate Elementary, Ochoa Middle and Hayward High Schools.

"I believe that the King holiday should be treated not as just another day off but for what it is: a day of remembrance for a great man who continues to inspire us long after his death,” said Hayward Mayor Barbara Halliday. “This annual celebration has become a tradition that honors Dr. King's memory, reminds us of his wisdom, and gives meaning to our celebration of his birthday. I am looking forward this year not only to being there, but also for the first time welcoming folks as mayor.”

"Since the event’s inception, Hayward has been in the forefront making sure that the community realizes the full meaning of Dr. King’s dream for America,” said Freddye M. Davis, President of the Hayward South Alameda County NAACP.

What: Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration
When: Monday, Jan 19 at 4:30 p.m.
Where: Buffington Visual & Performing Arts Center at Chabot College, 25555 Hesperian Blvd. Hayward
Admission: Free