MLK Center asks city to vote on its new name
Freda Gandy, executive director of the Martin Luther King Jr. Family Outreach Center, invited those who gathered for the 2020 Martin Luther King Jr. Day Rally and March at the Spokane Convention Center to come to the Spokane City Council meeting on Monday, Feb. 3, when the council will vote on renaming the center at the East Central Community Center the “Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center.”
She needs voices to challenge some who have said the name is “too ethnic” or sounds like it “targets a certain population.” She asserted that King stood for everyone, and the center serves everyone.
“It’s 2020,” she said. “We need to move forward, not backward.”
The center, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2020, provides early childhood education, children’s enrichment programs, a summer youth academy and family support from the Martin Luther King Jr. Family Outreach Program plus programs that were at the East Central Community Center, including a food bank, senior services, SNAP, W.I.C., Police Athletic League and Early Head Start Daycare with Community Colleges of Spokane.
These programs are made possible by 7,000 volunteer hours, as the center provided 800 backpacks and 1,300 coats for children and 600,000 pounds of food in 2019.
Before the march, Mayor Nadine Woodward said:“The civil rights movement arose so that people would live the creed that all are created equal. We believe in equality, in unity and in community. We are not immune to racism, but our community will not tolerate division.”
She called for bringing a better tomorrow by standing with people in need and being leaders in justice and compassion.
Copyright@ The Fig Tree, February, 2020