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Martin Luther King Jr. Day events across Snohomish County

SNOHOMISH COUNTY — “Someone has to combat hatred and negatively. Someone has to pass the baton and carry the torch.”
DanVonique Bletson-Reed says she is one of the “someones” to carry on the legacy of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.
Monday, Jan. 21 is Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
The Marysville mother of three says trials for black people were worse decades ago, but she’s still dealt with adversity and opposition.
She is chairing the Snohomish County NAACP’s annual MLK event called “Dream Greater.”
The Dream Greater community celebration will return to Bethany Christian Assembly in Everett this year. The faith-based event will include a keynote address by activist and King County Councilman Larry Gossett. There will also be a parade of youth and choir performance.
Everett Community College is also honoring King’s legacy with an event called “MLK Day: Words of Freedom” on Jan. 22. Spoken word artist Porsha Olayiwola will perform at 1:30 p.m.; she was recently named the city of Boston’s official poet laureate. Following the performance, the college will host a one-hour interactive workshop facilitated by Olayiwola beginning at 2:45 p.m.
United Way of Snohomish County will be hosting advocacy trainings open to the public in the spirit of King’s activism and advocacy. “The facilitated trainings provide an overview of the legislative process, tips for meeting with legislators, and provide an opportunity for community members to learn and practice skills to be more effective at advocating to the Washington State legislature,” said spokeswoman Allison Matsumoto.
The NAACP of Snohomish County is also sponsoring the 18th annual Prodigies for Peace essay and art contest. Entries are due Feb. 1.
This year, students will write on the King quote: “Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality.”
Students will create art on the theme: “What dreams do you have for our nation by spreading Dr. King’s message that love will make all people equal.” Winners will be recognized at an awards ceremony Feb. 20.
“We can’t just be reading in books or thinking about it, we have to take action, that’s why we have programs like this,” Bletson-Reed said. “The only way the dream will live is through us.”
The Dream Greater Celebration is from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 20 at Bethany Christian Assembly, 2715 Everett Ave. in Everett.
The performance at EvCC is Tuesday, Jan. 22 from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. at Jackson Center 101, and the workshop is from 2:45 to 3:45 p.m. in Jackson Center room 106, at 2000 Tower Street in Everett.
More information on the United Way trainings will be posted online at



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