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Faith community organizes interfaith service for MLK Day in Yakima

Robert Trimble is a long-time MLK Day organizer.

For the 33rd year, Robert Trimble, a retired pastor, Yakima’s NAACP president and a community activist, has worked with Yakima’s Martin Luther King Jr. Interfaith Commemoration Committee to plan events to remember and learn about civil rights.

“One Nation, One People” is the theme for the citywide memorial church service at 3 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 14, at the Greater Faith Baptist Church, 816 S. 6th St. Speakers will reflect on the community of love King talked about in his book, Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?

Robert said the service, in which the Yakima Association of Churches and Faith Communities participates, will include Catholics, Protestants, Muslims, Jews and people of other faiths.

At noon Monday, Jan. 15, Yakima’s annual Justice, Peace and Equality March begins at S. 5th St.

The march follows Martin Luther King Blvd. to the Yakima Convention Center for a program of speakers and singing historical, spiritual and civil rights songs.

Robert said he and others went to the Yakima City Council every year for 19 years proposing to name Martin Luther King Blvd. Every year he was turned down, but in the 20th year, 2006, they renamed the street.

At 2 p.m. Monday at Henry Beauchamp Community Center, 1112 S. 7th St., the soup kitchen will serve soup to anyone who needs to eat.

“We also encourage people to read about the civil rights movements and to do community service to give the community love, not hate,” Robert said.

The Police Department usually participates in an effort to build better relationship between police and young people to keep the dream alive, he said.

Every day from Jan. 8 to 15, the Yakima Herald will publish a quote from King that Robert has provided, along with a guest editorial.

During that week, Yakima schools will have educational assemblies planned with the Commemoration Committee, which has met Mondays since Nov. 2.

Robert, who has been retired as a pastor for 15 years, was in ministry since the 1980s.

He came to Yakima 35 years ago from Atlanta after serving in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War.  After finishing college, he came to Yakima to teach school and, “seeing the needs of the community, I became involved and stayed,” he said.

There are 10 African-American churches in Yakima, but instead of attending one of them, he goes to different non-African-American churches to share his vision.

“My next goal is to work towards integrating the churches on the west side of town, rather than having black or white churches,” he said.  “A church should be the house of God. We are all one under God. We are God’s people with many cultures.

“Therefore, I will continue to help build the love community King talked about in his Dream, for we are all brothers and sisters,” Robert said. “On his last night King said he just wanted to have a committed life to make the world a better place for all of God’s people.”

For information, call 509-910-0251 or email


Spokane celebration includes rally, march, ribbon cutting

Plans are underway to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Spokane with a community service, a rally and march, and a ribbon cutting to recognize Martin Luther King Jr. Family Outreach Center as the new nonprofit to run the East Central Community Center.

The Spokane Ministers’ Fellowship is planning the Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration.  It will be held from 4 to 6 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 14, at the Holy Temple Church of God in Christ, 806 W. Indiana.

The Rally and March begin at 10 a.m., Monday, Jan. 15, at the Spokane Convention Center old ballroom, 334 W. Spokane Falls Blvd., said Freda Gandy, executive director of the Martin Luther King Jr. Family Outreach Center. Unlike previous years, there will be no Resource Fair after the march.

At noon, at the East Central Community Center (ECCC), 500 S. Stone, there will be a ribbon cutting, open house, lunch, children’s activities and tables for people to sign up and be involved as volunteers and staff, as the Martin Luther King Jr. Family Outreach Center begins the process of moving many programs from 845 S. Sherman to the community center.


Pullman plans worship and day of service

In Pullman, local faith leaders will lead the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Interfaith Service at 4 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 14, at St. James Episcopal, 1500 NE Stadium Way. It includes King’s words on economic justice, poverty, worker justice, racial justice, civil rights, and war and militarism.

Washington State University’s Community for Civic Engagement (CCE) plans the MLK Day of Service.  Opportunities at 379 agencies in Pullman, Moscow and the region are at The day honors King’s life and accomplishments.
There will be a CCE Public Square Forum on Wednesday, Jan. 17 on “The Widening Generational Gap in Civil Rights and Social Justice Activism.”

Pullman’s 2018 MLK Community Celebration is at 7 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 18, at the CUB Senior Ballroom with speaker Shaun King of the Black Lives Matter movement.  He uses social media to highlight police brutality, racial discrimination and civil rights.

For information, visit
North Idaho schools work with human rights task force

The Kootenai County Task Force for Human Relations (KCTFHR) is organizing the 33rd annual Children’s Program Honoring Martin Luther King Jr.’s Works on Thursday, Jan. 11, at Lake City Community Church, 6000 N. Ramsey.

About 900 fifth graders from 10 Coeur d’Alene schools will meet at the church at 9:30 a.m., and about 600 fifth graders from six Post Falls schools will be there at 11:30 a.m.

The program on “Don’t Be Little, Be Big: Courage, Safety, Value and Kindness” is presented by Stu Cade, an educator and actor residing in Coeur d’Alene. Offices for his Ovation Company are in Denver. The students will be given bracelets with a big elephant and three little elephants, and the words of the theme.

One child from each school will read an essay about a dream or someone who is their hero—Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr., a grandparent or someone else.

 “It’s an important age to teach children about kindness and respecting people,” said Tony Stewart of the KCTFHR, noting that the school district has worked with the human rights organization for 33 years to coordinate a children’s Martin Luther King Jr. program. “It’s one of the task force’s signature projects.”

With more than 36,000 fifth graders introduced to human rights by this program over the years, Tony, who has gone to all 32 years of the events, noted that some of the first students are now in their 40s and have children attending.

For information, call 208-765-3932.

Bonner County task force presents student art show

The Bonner County Human Rights Task Force, which has been active since 1992, will  hold an open meeting at 5:30 p.m., Monday, Jan. 8, at The Heartwood Center, 615 Oak St. in Sandpoint for people interested in volunteering, becoming a member or board member. 

For its annual MLK event, the task force will present Student Art for Human Rights and honor MLK in the library of the Sandpoint High School starting Tuesday, Jan. 16.

For information, email Sharon McCahon at or visit

Lecturer discusses role of ‘allyship’ in civil rights

There will be a Martin Luther King Jr. Day Public Lecture on “Allyship: Why We Teach the Movement” from 7 to 9 p.m., Monday, Jan. 15, at Weyerhaeuser Hall at Whitworth University.

“The historical moment requires coalitions built across historical fault lines of race, class and gender,” said Whitworth program director Joshua Adam Fauth.  “The success of the civil rights movement depended, in part, on coalitions and their power.”

The lecture by Kate Shuster, president of Shuster Consulting and author of Teaching the Movement: The State of Civil Rights Education, will review best practices in allyship, making the case for coalition-building in the context of teaching and learning about the history and lessons of the civil rights movement.

For information, call 777-3583 or email Gretchen Cleveland.

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