The Clovis Police Department and the Fresno MLK Unity Committee hosted the annual community breakfast honoring Martin Luther King Jr. Jan. 18.
This marks the first year the police department held the breakfast at the Regency Event Center at 1600 Willow Avenue.
About 450 people attended the sold-out event, which began at 9 a.m.
A diverse class of speakers from various organizations and backgrounds took the podium to speak at the breakfast.
Clovis Police Chief Curt Fleming gave opening statements, thanking the Fresno MLK Unity Committee for helping to organize the event.
Jim Grant, director of the Social Justice Ministry of Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno, gave an invocation at the breakfast. He said the world still has much to learn from King’s message.
“Martin Luther King Jr. embraced the calling to lead his people for causes of freedom, justice and equality. In has taken years for us to realize that his people are in fact all people, that his message is for people of every faith, every kind, and every nation,” Grant said. “So it is good for us to remember him once again this day and to recall these, his own words, as he speaks to us and says, ‘The ultimate measure of a person is not whether he or she stands in wellness of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.’”
Clovis City Councilmember Vong Mouanoutoua told the Roundup that it’s important to remember King’s legacy because he set the example for how minority communities can stand up for themselves.
“Me being Hmong, and the other minority communities, we benefited so much from what Dr. King fought for. Every immigrant, every minority group afterwards, marginalized groups, benefited from what Dr. King fought for and got. I thank our fellow black community and Dr. King for his leadership and I think it’s taught all of us how to stand, when to stand, and what to stand for,” Mouanoutoua said.
The Fresno Component of Gospel Music Workshop of America performed between speakers. The group sang gospel classics “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” “We shall overcome” and “I made it Out/Open Your Mouth and Say Something.”
They were not the only musical group to perform, as the Clovis Heiwa Taiko (Japanese “peace drums”) played before keynote speaker and Clovis Community College Trustee Deborah Ikeda took the podium.
“As Dr. King once said, “Yes, if you want to say I was a drum major, say I was the drum major for justice, say that I was the drum major for peace and say that I was the drum major for righteousness,” Ikeda said at the end of her speech. “Let us all leave today as drum majors in Dr. Martin Luther King’s image.”