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Celebration of service and rights nears

Wendy Alexander/Madera Tribune File Photo Youth dancers, Purpose II Praise, perform during the 2018 Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration at Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School. This year’s event will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday.


If You Go…

WHAT: Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration

WHEN: 2 p.m. Sunday

WHERE: Martin Luther King, Jr., Middle School, 601 Lily St.

COST: Free


“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’,” the late Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said.

The school named after the U.S. civil rights leader will celebrate its namesake 2 p.m. Sunday by honoring the legacy of King and those like him who have worked to help their community.

All are welcome to the free gathering, which includes presenting Humanitarian awards for Margaret Medellin Esquibel, Gloria Brown, and the late Anne Lozano.

Medellin Esquibel is a former Madera mayor and three-term councilwoman, and a founding member of the Pan American Club and Latinas Unidas.

Brown is the president of Madera NAACP Branch 1084, a former Madera Bobby Sox League president, a local organizer for Madera Toys for Tots, foster parent, and has volunteered on behalf of the Madera Red Cross to assist victims of hurricanes Katrina and Ike.

Lozano was a 41-year Madera resident, local educator, Madera Evening Lion, Linkage Foundation member, and coordinator of the 2014 Measure G school bond that funded the building of Virginia Lee Rose Elementary School. She died of cancer on Aug. 2, 2018. Speakers

Todd Lile, superintendent of the Madera Unified School District, will be keynote speaker, and local students will speak on the past, present and future of the civil rights movement.

Student speakers will be Claire Chaney of Chawanakee 9th grade; Haylee Kazazian of Wilson Middle School’s 8th grade in Chowchilla; Karina Alvarado and Mario Aguirre, both 8th graders, and Carmelo Ramirez,7th grade, all from Madera Unified School District; and an 11th grader from Voyager Secondary School.

Noel Jimenez, Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School, will serve as master of ceremonies, and Local Host Committee President Ruth Henderson will give a welcoming address. The Rev. Bert Roper, Madera United Methodist Church, will offer an invocation and benediction, and the choir from Mount Zion Baptist Church will perform.

Martin Luther King, Jr., Day was established as a federal holiday by Congress in 1983 to observe King’s birthday on the third Monday in January. King’s birthday was Jan. 15, 1929.

Martin Luther King, Jr., Middle School is at 601 Lily Street in Madera.

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