Past Celebrations

48 Years of Martin Luther King Jr. Community Celebrations

Get the details and history on our annual MLK community celebrations.

Venue: Online

January 15, 2021
Speaker: Dr. Matías Valenzuela
Program: AVPs of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion; Interview with McKinney Scholar
Emcee: Monique Ming Laven, KIRO 7 evening anchor
Music: DaNell Daymon and Greater Works

Venue: Mount Zion Baptist Church (1984 to 2020)

January 17, 2020
Speaker: Dr. Tricia Rose, scholar, public speaker, media commentator, and award-winning author
Program: McKinney Scholarship
Emcee: Monique Ming Laven, KIRO 7 evening anchor
Music: DaNell Daymon and Greater Works
Other: Reception afterward

January 18, 2019
Speaker: Michael Eric Dyson, professor, writer, preacher, and media personality
Program: McKinney Scholarship
Emcee: Monique Ming Laven, KIRO 7 evening anchor
Music: DaNell Daymon and Greater Works
Other: Reception afterward

January 12, 2018
Speaker: Ijeoma Oluo, author of “So You Want to Talk About Race”
Program: Nonviolence in a Violent World
Emcee: Essex Porter, KIRO 7 reporter
Music: DaNell Daymon and Greater Works
Other: Reception afterward

January 13, 2017
Speaker: Benjamin Hunter, socialpreneur, educator, community organizer, and musician
Program: “The Fierce Urgency of Now,” McKinney Scholarship
Emcee: Deborah Horne, KIRO 7 reporter
Music: DaNell Daymon and Greater Works
Other: Reception afterward

January 15, 2016
Speaker: Marcus Green, Executive Director of South Seattle Emerald
Program: “Are we there yet?,” McKinney Scholarship
Emcee: Monique Ming Laven, KIRO 7 evening co-anchor
Music: DaNell Daymon and Greater Works
Other: Reception afterward

January 16, 2015
Speaker: Barbara Earl Thomas, artist and writer “Dreamer. Dream Catcher,”
Program: McKinney Scholarship
Emcee: Tonya Mosley, Broadcast Journalist
Music: DaNell Daymon and Greater Works Chorale
Other: Reception afterward

January 17, 2014
Speaker: Michele Norris, NPR host and reporter and author of “The Race Project” and “The Grace of Silence, A Memoir”
Program: 40th annual event, McKinney Scholarship
Emcee: Tonya Mosley, Broadcast Journalist
Music: DaNell Daymon and Greater Works Chorale
Other: Reception afterward

January 18, 2013
Speaker: Jim Lucas (actor) portraying MLK in “A Man and His Dream”
Program: McKinney Scholarship
Emcee: Connie Thompson, KOMO-TV news anchor
Music: Mount Zion Inspirational Choir, Lakeside Chorale and members of the UW Gospel Choir led by Phyllis Byrdwell

January 13, 2012
Speaker: Nate Miles, motivational speaker and vice president for strategic initiatives, Eli Lilly Co., “Leaders and Leadership”
Program: Stanford International School students “Let Freedom Ring,” McKinney Scholarship
Emcee: Molly Shen, KOMO-TV news anchor
Music: Mount Zion Wind Ensemble, Mount Zion Inspirational Chorus

January 14, 2011
Speaker: “The Right to Dream” historical film footage and acted performance by Living Voices of Seattle with Marcel Davis (actor)
Program: Seattle school students Q & A to actor, McKinney Scholarship
Emcee: Lori Matsukawa, KING-TV news anchor
Music: Members of the Black Nativity Choir
Other: Buttons with MLK image commemorating 37th annual event

January 15, 2010
Speaker: Bernice Johnson Reagon, cultural historian and Freedom Singer, “The Reason I Sing This Song,” singing as the communal voice of the Civil Rights Movement
Program: Seattle school students Q & A to speaker, McKinney Scholarship
Emcee: Deborah Horne, KIRO-TV (Angela Russell was listed in the schedule; however, she went to Haiti to report on the earthquake.)
Music: DaNell Daymon & Royal Gospel Choir

January 16, 2009
Speaker: The Rev. Aaron Williams, Mount Zion senior pastor, “Finding Your Own Voice”
Program: Our Lady of the Lake School “These Hands—the Story of MLK Jr.,” McKinney Scholarship
Emcee: Connie Thompson, KOMO-TV
Music: Mount Zion Mass Choir and Praise Dancers, Felecia Leffall Curry (soloist)

January 18, 2008
Speaker: Susan L. Taylor, editorial director, Essence Magazine
Program: African-American Academy “Our African-American Children Are Coming,” McKinney Scholarship
Emcee: Dr. Mona Lake Jones, King County poet laureate and author
Music: Black Nativity Choir & Total Experience Gospel Choir led by Pastor Patrinell Wright, Felecia Leffall Curry (soloist)
Other: Reception afterward, Speaker sponsor – Macy’s, Hotel sponsor – Fairmont Olympic Hotel

January 12, 2007
Speaker: Ron Sims, King County executive
Program: Our Lady of the Lake School “I Have a Dream,” McKinney Scholarship
Emcee: Carmen Ainsworth, KCPQ-TV
Music: DaNell Daymon and Royalty Choir, Felecia Leffall Curry (soloist)
Other: Reception afterward sponsored by Macy’s

January 13, 2006
Speaker: Ernie Barnes (artist)
Program: J. Woods Hip-hop tribute to Dr. King, McKinney Scholarship
Emcee: Lori Matsukawa, KING-TV news anchor
Music: DaNell Daymon and A Royal Priesthood Choir, Felecia Leffall Curry (soloist)
Other: Reception afterward featuring Ernie Barnes work, Speaker sponsor – Macy’s, Hotel sponsor—Fairmont Olympic Hotel

January 14, 2005
Speaker: William Bell, executive vice president, Casey Family Foundation
Program: Bryant Elementary “I Have a Dream,” McKinney Scholarship
Emcee: Vivian Phillips
Music: First A.M.E. Church of Seattle Mass Choir, Felecia Leffall Curry (soloist)
Other: Reception afterward with quilt exhibit and Macy’s NW Black Pioneer photo exhibit

January 16, 2004
Speaker: The Rev. Bernice King, youngest daughter of Dr. King & Coretta Scott King
Program: McKinney Scholarship
Emcee: Joyce Taylor, KING-TV news anchor
Music: Mount Zion Inspirational Choir, Felecia Leffall Curry (soloist)
Other: Speaker sponsor – Bon-Macy’s, Hotel sponsor – Fairmont Olympic Hotel, reception afterward

January 17, 2003
Speaker: Dr. Carl Livingston (Seattle Central faculty), “Martin Luther King: Man With A Plan”
Program: Reading—African-American Academy, McKinney Scholarship
Emcee: Lori Matsukawa, KING-TV news anchor
Music: Trinity Choir of First A.M.E., Felecia Leffall Curry (soloist)
Other: Reception afterward

January 18, 2002
Speaker: Dr. Leslie David Braxton, Mount Zion senior pastor, “Domestic & Global Implications of Dr. King’s Dream and the New Millennium”
Program: McKinney Scholarship
Emcee: Joyce Taylor, Seattle television news anchor
Music: Mount Zion Inspirational Choir and Praise Dancers, Felecia Leffall Curry (soloist)
Other: Reception afterward

January 16, 2001
Speaker: Dr. Donald G. Phelps, W.K. Kellogg regents professor in Community College Leadership at the University of Texas at Austin
Program: McKinney Scholarship
Emcee: Dr. Tawnya Pettiford-Wates (Seattle Central faculty, actor, director, and playwright)
Music: Mount Calvary Choir, Dansation directed by Anita Kuroiwa, Felecia Leffall Curry (soloist)
Other: Reception afterward

January 14, 2000
Speaker: Norman B. Rice, president and CEO, Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle
Program: McKinney Scholarship, Leadership Awards
Emcee: Dr. Carl Livingston (Seattle Central instructor)
Music: Praise Dancers from Mount Calvary Church, Felecia Leffall Curry (soloist)
Other: Reception afterward

January 16, 1998
Speaker: The Rev. Samuel B. McKinney, Mount Zion pastor
Program: Karen Denard, radio and TV personality
Emcee: Connie Thompson, KOMO-TV news anchor
Music: Pat Wright & Total Experience Choir, Felecia Leffall Curry (soloist)
Other: Additional offsite MLK Children’s Math and Science celebration, presidents’ reception afterward with student art exhibit

January 17, 1997
Speaker: Dr. Jacob Lawrence and Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence, artists “Where do we go from here?” told in story, poetry, and dance by Tawnya Pettiford-Wates, Kimi Ginn Rabun, Anita Kuroiwa
Program: Community Leadership Awards
Emcee: Chuck Jackson (SVI instructor)
Music: Jazz Pianist Deems Tsutakawa, Mount Zion Inspirational Chorus, Felecia Leffall Curry (soloist)
Other: Additional offsite MLK Children’s Math and Science celebration, presidents’ reception afterward with student art exhibit

January 12, 1996
Speaker: John H. Stanford, Seattle Public Schools superintendent
Program: Community Leadership Awards
Emcee: Patti Payne, KIRO Newsradio
Music: Michael Powers & Urban Rhythms Chorus, Damaris Pearson (soloist, North)
Other: Additional offsite MLK Children’s Math and Science celebration, reception afterward

January 13, 1995
Speaker: Nerissa Williams, KIRO-TV
Program: Community Leadership Awards
Emcee: Chuck Jackson (Seattle Central administrator)
Music: Quinton Morris (violin solo), Phyllis Byrdwell (organ solo), Mount Zion Inspirational Choir, Felecia Leffall Curry (soloist)
Other: Additional offsite MLK Children’s Math and Science celebration, reception afterward

January 14, 1994
Speaker: Dr. Mona Lake Jones, poet and Seattle educator (past Seattle Central instructor)
Program: Reading—Sean Conner, Blanchet High School
Emcee: Patti Payne, KIRO-TV
Music: Mount Zion Inspirational Chorus, Felecia Leffall Curry (soloist)
Other: Additional offsite MLK Children’s Math and Science celebration, reception afterward

January 15, 1993
Speaker: Dr. Carver Gayton, The Boeing Company and Seattle Community Colleges trustee
Program: Student tribute—students Gregory Nearing (SVI), Alice Sierra (South), Katera Lynn Shannon (North), Robert Durbin (Seattle Central)
Emcee: Micki Flowers, KIRO-TV
Music: Washington Mass Choir, Felecia Leffall Curry (soloist)
Other: Additional offsite MLK Children’s Math and Science celebration

January 15, 1992
Speaker: Don Williamson, The Seattle Times
Program: Children’s drama—Tawnya Pettiford-Wates (Seattle Central), Student tribute—Kermit Spears (North)
Emcee: Nerissa Williams, KIRO-TV
Music: Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church Youth Choir, a cappella choir Second Glance, Washington Mass Choir, Gloria Johnson (soloist)

January 15, 1991
Speaker: Dr. Constance Rice
Program: Reading—Hawthorne Elementary students, Student tribute—Calix Francisco Martos (South)
Music: Seattle Public Schools Dream Choir, Mount Zion Brotherhood Chorus, First A.M.E. Choir, Dionna Long (soloist)

January 12, 1990
Speaker: Norm Rice, Seattle mayor
Program: Reading—“I Have A Dream,” T.T. Minor Elementary students; Student tribute—Carmen Espanol (Seattle Central)
Emcee: Mona Lake Jones, Seattle Community Colleges
Music: Mount Zion Inspirational Choir, Felecia Leffall Curry (soloist)

January 13, 1989
Speaker: Dr. Asa Hilliard, Georgia State University
Program: Reading—Lakeside Middle School, Student tribute—Aaron Pulkka, Connie Reed (North)
Emcee: Micki Flowers, KIRO-TV reporter
Music: Washington State Mass Choir

January 15, 1988
Speaker: Dr. Charles Mitchell, Seattle Central president
Program: Reading—McClure Middle School students, Student tribute—Teresa Landis (Seattle Central)
Emcee: Nerissa Williams, KIRO-TV anchor/reporter
Music: Mount Zion Inspirational Gospel Choir, Felecia Leffall (soloist)

January 15, 1987
Speaker: Chancellor Donald G. Phelps
Program: Reading—Tawnya Pettiford-Wates (Seattle Central instructor)
Music: Total Experience Choir, Felecia Leffall (soloist)

January 15, 1986
Speaker: Jesse Wineberry, state representative
Program: Reading—McClure Middle School students, Student tribute: Demetria Brooks (Seattle Central)
Music: Hosanna Community Choir, St. Therese Catholic Church Shades of Praise Gospel Choir, First A.M.E. Community Choir, Felecia Leffall (soloist)
Other: First National Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday

January 15, 1985
Speaker: George Fleming, state senator
Program: Reading—James Bigham (actor), Student tribute—John Roche (North)
Music: Hosanna Community Choir, Ethel Wellington-Peak (soloist), Felecia Leffall (soloist)

January 13, 1984
Speaker: Connie Thompson, KOMO-TV anchor
Music: Hosanna Community Choir

Venue: First African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Church

January 14, 1983
Speaker: Norm Rice, Seattle City Council member
Program: Dramatic reading – William Marrow, Student tribute – Gregory Brown (North)
Emcee: Monique Ming Laven, KIRO 7 evening anchor
Music: The Chanticleers, Phyllis Byrdwell (soloist)

Venue: Broadway Performance Hall at Seattle Central

January 15, 1982
Speaker: Karen Denard, co-host of KOMO-TV’s “A.M. Northwest”
Emcee: Candelario Garcia
Music: Phyllis Byrdwell, the Hopper Family Singers, Mona Jones (soloist)

January 16, 1981
Speaker: Larry Sanford, State Board for Community College Education, “A Man and His Dream”
Program: Dramatic reading – Harvey Blanks (actor)
Music: The Chanticleers, Phyllis Byrdwell (soloist)

Venue: First Christian Church of Seattle

January 14, 1980
Speaker: Dr. Samuel E. Kelly, special assistant to the dean of the College of Arts Sciences at the University of Washington, “His Dream...A Look at the ’80s”
Program: Dramatic reading – Harvey Blanks (actor)
Music: Community choirs, True Destiny Choir of Seattle, Phyllis Byrdwell (soloist)

Venue: Paramount Northwest

January 15, 1979
Speaker: Yvonne Burke, former U.S. congresswoman
Emcee: Norm Rice, Seattle City Council member
Music: Mercer Island Children’s Choir, Total Experience Choir

Venue: First Christian Church of Seattle

January 14, 1978
Speaker: The Rev. Samuel McKinney, Mount Zion pastor, “A Challenge for Today”
Program: “Reflections – students from all three campuses
Music: St. Therese Catholic Church Youth Choir

January 14, 1977
Program: In Honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Brotherhood Day
Emcee: Harvey Blanks (actor)

1976
We are seeking information on the 1976 program.

January 14, 1975
Speaker: LeRoy Brown

January 14, 1974
Speaker: The Rev. Samuel McKinney, Mount Zion pastor
Program: Reading – LeRoy Falls, Karen Nelson, Roland Holloway, Joan Ray
Emcee: Eugene Peterson
Music: Evelyn Jackson, Mona Jones