Both Arcata and Eureka will hold events in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. during Monday's holiday celebrating the life and legacy of the slain civil rights leader.
Eureka will hold its annual celebration at the Adorni Center from noon to 1:30 p.m. The event is free, and has taken place for about the last 30 years. This year's theme is “Be the Change,” according to Elizabeth Smith, chief professional officer at the Boys & Girls Club of the Redwoods, who has helped with the event for the last six years.
Eureka High School student Zariah Larsen will give a speech, singer Donna Landry and the Arcata Interfaith Gospel Choir will perform, and dancing and music groups from the Boys & Girls Club will all take part in Monday's event.
”It's always a fun event and great opportunity,” Smith said. “I'm always excited when the youth gets involved.”
Jennifer Eichstedt, chairwoman of the Sociology Department at Humboldt State University, said remembering that there's still much more work to be done is key.
”Progress is hard to measure,” Eichstedt said. “I'm really cognizant of racial inequality in everyday structures, such as health care and voting, where there are still huge discrepancies between whites and others.”
Eichstedt said that while conversations about race matter, the structure of local institutions matters more.
”As we've seen, discrimination cases have even recently been brought up in Humboldt County schools,” she said.
In honor of Martin Luther King Day, the city of Arcata will be hosting its 14th annual “Bowl of Beans” event from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Monday at the Arcata Community Center.
Recreation Supervisor of the Arcata Recreation Division Heather Schmidt said this is her fourth year of helping organize the event, and it has almost put itself together.
”Bowl of Beans gives us an opportunity to come together as a community, not only to reflect on and celebrate the works of King,” Schmidt said, “but to also reflect on our own lives and actions and how we are working towards an even more beloved community.”
Schmidt said the event is embraced by the community.
”Tons of people have been calling to volunteer,” she said. “No performers are compensated, but they're all so happy to come forward. Every year, I'm inspired by the energy of the performers and sense of love and fellowship in the crowd.”
Performers include the Arcata Interfaith Gospel Choir and Gospel Youth Choir, a dance group and a singing group from Arcata Elementary School, and the band Asha Nan. Admission is $6 at the door, with proceeds benefiting Arcata Recreation's Arts in the Afternoon program and Arcata Elementary School's art program.
If You Go:
What: “Be the Change” event
When: Noon, Monday
Where: Adorni Center, 1011 Waterfront Drive in Eureka
If You Go:
What: “Bowl of Beans” event
When: 5 p.m., Monday
Where: Arcata Community Center, 321 Community Park Way in Arcata