HEBER, Calif. - The Imperial Valley Commemorative Martin Luther King Jr Committee keeps the memory of human rights leader Dr. King alive by honoring on Saturday those who work for the community.
Organizer Marlene Thomas said, “What we want to accomplish is that we are all one in this world and to respect one another. And as you see, our honorees are diverse, and it’s always been diverse, not just today.”
Keynote Speaker Dr. Sandra Jewell called for unity, echoing Dr. King’s message.
“We should work together, not worry about color, prestige, or any of those outside forces. Because what we have inside is much more powerful than what’s on the outside,” Jewell said.
The eight honorees, each receiving a Stone of Hope Award, said Dr. King’s work continues to impact everyone nationwide.
Yvonne Bell, Clinicas de Salud Director, said, “The inspirations that he’s caused everybody to have and how that affects everybody’s life in their day to day social well-being and contributions into our communities. Caring. Compassion. Wellness. Dignity.”
I.C. District 5 Supervisor Ray Castillo said Dr. King’s work impacted Hispanics.
“Back then you didn’t see very many elected officials Hispanics, particularly, or minorities in government. And affirmative action has changed all of that. And so, thank God for Dr. King,” Castillo said.
City of Imperial resident Jennifer Simone, part of a cultural fashion show at the event, said Dr. King’s message is more relevant than ever.
“To love, to treat each other good. Think about how our society is going. It’s not just about racism. His legacy has to continue in order for us to change the way we think and our lives,” Simone said.