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Santa Monica to Stage MLK Day Celebration

Santa Monica Real Estate Company, Roque and Mark

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Harding, Larmore Kutcher & Kozal, LLP

Pacific Park, Santa Monica Pier

Santa Monica Convention and Visitors Bureau

By Lookout Staff

January 15, 2014 -- Actor Gerald C. Rivers, who is renowned for his portrayal of Martin Luther King, Jr. on stage, will be the keynote speaker at Santa Monica’s annual celebration of the life of the Civil Rights leader.

Considered one of the largest and most diverse celebrations of its kind in Southern California, the free event will take place at 9 a.m. at the Soka Gakkai International (SGI) Auditorium, 525 Wilshire Boulevard.

The theme of this year’s multi-ethnic, interfaith celebration is “Unity in the Community.” The program will include inspirational readings, speakers, music, and the MLK Education Awards.

Rivers will be accompanied by singer Charles Holt, who worked with the actor in “Martin & Music,” a stage production threading together Dr. King’s words with music and narrative about his life and ideals.

Rivers, who grew up in Compton, is a classically trained Shakespearean actor and a company member at the Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum. He studied theater at Los AngelesCityCollege before attending MorehouseCollege.

A voice-over artist for video games, commercial TV shows and movies, Rivers was the recipient of the 2012 Season for Non Violence Local Hero Award from the Center for the Advancement of Non Violence.

Holt is a Broadway performer and recording artist acclaimed for his 20-character portrayal in his one-man stage play “Black Boy,” based on Richard Wright’s bestselling autobiography. He has starred in major theater productions and has appeared in a number of popular television dramas.

After the program, community organizations will hold a Community Involvement Fair, with refreshments and informational displays, at the SGIYouthCenter, 606 Wilshire Boulevard.

The event is sponsored by the Martin Luther King, Jr. Westside Coalition, a nonprofit coalition whose missions are consistent with King’s legacy. It is co-sponsored by Santa MonicaCollege, the City of Santa Monica, the SMC Associates, RAND Corporation, CityTV-Santa Monica and SGI-USA.

For more information about the event, call 310.941.9172.


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