The theme of the City of Tacoma’s annual event on Jan. 21, celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is “We’re Better Together”. The event begins at 11 a.m., with doors opening at 10 a.m., in the Greater Tacoma Convention Center (1500 Commerce St.). University of Puget Sound President Isiaah Crawford will serve as the keynote speaker and Jenna Hanchard from KING will serve as the emcee.
Dr. Dolores Silas will be honored with the Lifetime Service Award. Dr. Silas was the first African American woman to serve on Tacoma’s City Council, and as a Tacoma Public Schools administrator.
Vanna Sing, founder of the Tacoma Healing Awareness Community, will be honored with the Emerging Leader Community Service Award, a new award category that focuses on individuals who are 30 years of age or younger, and have demonstrated a commitment to becoming a leader for a lifetime, following the generations prior who have given back to and lifted up their communities.
Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards will present a special tribute to Linda Burgess-Duncan, the City’s long-time American Sign Language interpreter who lost her battle to cancer last year.
Performers at the event include the MLK Community Choir, Ballet Folklórico de Roosevelt Elementary School, Diana Starr, Raynell Robinson and Tamara Witherspoon, Kristy and Harmony Jordan, and Kenya Adams.
The event is expected to draw roughly 1,500 – 2,000 attendees of all ages. In addition to free holiday on-street parking and free parking at Freighthouse Square (2501 E. D St.), which is easily accessible via LINK light rail from the Convention Center stop located directly in front of the event venue, there will also be signage directing event attendees to designated complimentary parking stalls that will be made available on a first-come, first-served basis.
The event will air live on TV Tacoma, which is carried on both the Click! and Comcast Cable systems, and streamed at tvtacoma.com.