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The award-winning news site of Cosumnes River College

The Connection

The award-winning news site of Cosumnes River College

The Connection

Annual march honors MLK, Los Rios labor union a longtime supporter

Seth Henderson
More than 450 people march down Marysville Boulevard in Del Paso Heights honoring Martin Luther King Jr. on Jan. 15. The Los Rios College Federation of Teachers has supported these marches in North Sacramento for 20 years.

The Los Rios College Federation of Teachers continued a two-decade tradition marching with the community of Del Paso Heights in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. at Grant Union High School on Monday.

LRCFT President and history professor at Cosumnes River College Jason Newman staffed a resource table in the Grant Union gymnasium alongside Political Action Fund Committee Chair Walter Garcia Kawamoto and they said they have participated in the annual event for 20 years. Newman said he has seen participation in the event grow the community and its resources. He said he has former students tell him how vital those resources were.

“One thing we need to remember is that Martin Luther King was fighting for all of our rights,” Newman said. “Including our labor rights and as labor union president I’m very proud to be out here supporting the work of Dr. King and of his defense of race and labor rights. And we’ll continue to do that.”

Special project coordinator for the Roberts Family Development Center Rovenna Parham said there were more than 450 people in attendance and about 55 vendors ranging from food trucks to local community services.

For the past 10 years, the march has been hosted and organized by the RFDC, said Jackie Kendricks, the RFDC Director of Education. She said the march has been a big tradition in the community and has seen families grow over the years.

“Families have been in this community for generations and so you see there are kids here, that I’ve seen, that are fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth grade that are now seniors in high school,” Kendricks said. “And families, grandparents, parents that come out that have been in this community for generations.”

Kendricks said the march is organized to bring pride and awareness to the community. She said it’s easy to forget how important community is and events like the march make it easier to see the richness of its qualities and local opportunity.

Rep. Ami Bera (D-District) and Sacramento City Council District 2 Candidates Daryl Collins, Roger Dickinson and Stephen Walton were also in attendance at Grant Union, speaking to members of the community and taking pictures.

“The biggest thing is to bring the community together once again for a very major movement in Martin Luther King for all the work he’s done and for us to unite,” Collins said. “Regardless of race, creed or color.”

Kawamoto said he is from the Del Paso Heights area and is proud to be part of a vital community resource. He said the LRCFT is also supportive of Black Lives Matter.
Working the resource fair is a lot of important work that needs to be done, Newman said.

“The most gratifying part of these events, whether it’s MLK Day or Caesar Chavez Day, is to talk to people who have gone to community college, who want to go, who went for a while and stopped and want to go back,” Newman said. “And we can help them get back on that pathway.”

RFDC Volunteer Amofah Brobbey said this march is a big deal to the community and the mission is to continue Dr. King’s work. He said during covid restrictions, the march was configured to a caravan of automobiles bound for Sacramento State University.

Brobbey said the march pays tribute to Dr. King’s fight for equal rights and to fight to better the community as a whole.

“The fight that clearly has not stopped yet and we’re just trying to keep doing our part to make sure our voice is heard and the fight keeps on going until it’s won,” Brobbey said.

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About the Contributor
Seth Henderson
Seth Henderson, Editor in Chief
Seth Henderson is the Editor-in-Chief for The Connection. He decided to join the Connection because he wants to become a reporter and broadcaster, hoping to work in Las Vegas for the Raiders and the NFL. He was grew up in the Bay Area and is passionate about journalism, music and sports.

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