MARTIN LUTHER JR. DAY

A pa­rade, rally and awards are part of the hol­i­day fes­tiv­i­ties around town

Honolulu Star-Advertiser - - LOCAL BUSINESS -

An­nual Martin Luther King Jr. Day cel­e­bra­tions in Honolulu kick off tonight with the Na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion for the Ad­vance­ment of Col­ored Peo­ple awards gala and cul­mi­nate Mon­day with the sig­na­ture hol­i­day pa­rade through Waikiki and rally at Ka­pi­olani Park.

Long­time cham­pion of civil rights Jewel McDon­ald will re­ceive the 2017 Life­time Achieve­ment Award posthu­mously at the NAACP 14th An­nual Awards Gala at Dole Can­nery. The theme is “Cel­e­brat­ing Our Legacy, Hon­or­ing Our Com­mit­ment, Forg­ing

Our Fu­ture.”

McDon­ald, who died Nov. 28 at the age of 70, not only helped re­vive the NAACP in Honolulu, but helped to lobby the Leg­is­la­ture for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, work­ing with city and state lead­ers to see fruition in Jan­uary

1989, when Gov. John Wai­hee pro­claimed the state hol­i­day.

As a mem­ber of the Martin Luther King Jr. Coali­tion-Hawaii, she co­or­di­nated en­ter­tain­ment and pro­grams for the MLK rally and was named grand mar­shal of the pa­rade more than once.

Other NAACP award re­cip­i­ents are Com­mu­nity Award win­ner ShaDonna “Mo” McPhaul, pres­i­dent/CEO of Mo’s He­roes, who has worked to rein­te­grate home­less vet­er­ans into mean­ing­ful em­ploy­ment. Com­mu­nity Part­ner­ship Award win­ner Desert of Hawaii Nobles and Daugh­ters will be rec­og­nized for ded­i­cated vol­un­teer ser­vice to­tal­ing over 2,000 hours an­nu­ally, part­ner­ing with the NAACP to reg­is­ter vot­ers, in men­tor­ship pro­grams, and for out­stand­ing lead­er­ship. The Out­stand­ing Youth Cit­i­zen­ship Award win­ner is Betty Banks of Radford High School.

Re­li­gious Lead­er­ship Award win­ner the Rev. James Wil­liams, founder of Life More Abun­dantly Is­land Church in Wahi­awa, will be rec­og­nized at the MLK Gospel Ser­vice at 3 p.m. Sun­day at Trin­ity Mis­sion­ary Bap­tist Church, where he will be key­note speaker.

Mean­while, the Martin Luther King Jr. Coali­tion-Hawaii has cho­sen the theme “Thank You for Your Ser­vice” this year, cap­tur­ing the essence of all the No­bel Peace Prize win­ner stood for: com­bat­ing racial in­equal­ity through non­vi­o­lence from the mid-1950s un­til his death by as­sas­si­na­tion in 1968.

The an­nual bell ring­ing cer­e­mony be­gins at 4:45 p.m. Sun­day at Parke Chapel on the grounds of the Cathe­dral of St. An­drew, one of more than 300 bell ring­ing cer­e­monies sched­uled across the na­tion.

About 8,000 peo­ple are ex­pected to watch the pa­rade at 9 a.m. Mon­day as it pro­ceeds from Magic Is­land to Ala Moana Boule­vard and down Kalakaua Av­enue, end­ing at Ka­pi­olani Park. The pub­lic should go early, as po­lice will be­gin to close streets at 8:30 a.m.; side streets in Waikiki will be closed once the pa­rade be­gins.

Unity Rally fes­tiv­i­ties fol­low the pa­rade, start­ing at about 11 a.m. at the Ka­pi­olani Park Band­stand, with plenty of soul food and en­ter­tain­ment un­til 4 p.m.

For more in­for­ma­tion on coali­tion events, con­tact or­ga­nizer Mar­sha Rose Joyner at mr­joy@ hawaii.rr.com or 741-4612.

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