The Clovis Police Department, along with the Fresno Martin Luther King Unity Committee, invites the community to attend the annual Community Breakfast in honor of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Jan. 13 at Clovis Veterans Memorial District.
The annual breakfast is one many ways FMLKUC commemorates and honors the life and legacy of the most visible spokesperson and leader of the civil rights movement.
“It’s really just a place for anyone to come and have a casual environment to celebrate MLK’s legacy and to really embrace what he stood for; what he was trying to pass along to people,” said event organizer Erin Ford with the City of Clovis. “[It’s about] embracing our diversity and having solidarity within our communities at being stronger even though we’re all different. And just really appreciating our differences and coming together for something greater.”
This year, council member Vong Mouanoutoua has been selected as the keynote speaker. The event’s committee has a selection process for speakers that seeks members that may be new in the community and people would want to learn more from.
“Vong being a new council member gives us an opportunity to learn more about him, from a community standpoint,” said Ford. “He comes from a background that maybe a lot of people don’t realize. It’s a great way to share his story and also open up channels of communication from the community back to him. I think it’s just a great doorway to open, and that’s true for any speaker.”
Mouanoutoua feels extremely humbled and honored to speak at Clovis’ own celebration of Dr. King who is recognized not only nationally, but worldwide.
“You never, ever believe that you are ready, and I think it’s humbling that people think that you are ready,” said Mouanoutoua. “I like to approach life that way, where you try and if you are not ready, God tells you.”
Much like Dr. King, Mouanoutoua’s professional career and community work are a reflection of his dedication and mission to serve.
“I’ve always been about serving the underserved, the poor, giving a voice to those who don’t have a voice – and my career has been that way. Being able to speak at the event is sort of another way of me speaking and working toward unity but more of [creating] opportunities for the less fortunate,” said Mouanoutoua. “I want to continue that, I want to be able to say that even in Clovis there are those that are less fortunate. In the greater community, at large, there are still those who still need leaders to give them an opportunity, to give them a chance, to give them the best means of reaching the American Dream – and reaching their potential.”
In his keynote speech, Mouanoutoua hopes to portray Dr. King’s message of unity, freedom, equality and love and remind us of his purpose.
“I just want us to remember who Dr. King was, what he stood for and to not use it for our personal gain, but really for what his purpose was,” he added. “I think sometimes we forget and we use it to benefit us – whatever position you are in. I think that’s unfair to Dr. King, and I think that we need to look at what he said and say, ‘How do we continue to still do that?”
The breakfast will be held Saturday, Jan. 13 at 9 a.m. inside Clovis Veterans Memorial District. Tables of eight are available with advance reservation and payment. Individual tickets, for limited non-reserved seating will be available at the door for $5 with a canned food donation, which will benefit the Clovis Salvation Army.
For more information or to reserve tickets, contact Erin Ford at (559) 324-2476 or via email at ErinF@cityofclovis.com