By Leilani Clark
Martin Luther King Jr. Day falls on Jan. 17 this year, and celebrations for the revered minister and civil rights leader's birthday will be plentiful in the North Bay. Marin City's 13th annual MLK celebration (Monday, Jan. 17, at Manzanita Community Center; 630 Drake Ave., Marin City; 9am; free; 415.491.4366) will offer the chance to "celebrate and reflect on the advancement of social equity in our communities."
In addition to a forum with speakers and performing artists, an outdoor community service project to spruce up the neighborhood gets underway from 9am to 12pm, and keynote speaker Junious Williams, CEO of Urban Strategies, speaks at a brunch and awards ceremony from 10am to 1pm. After a long run at the Wells Fargo Center, Sonoma County's annual MLK celebration on Sunday, Jan. 16, moves to Santa Rosa High School (1235 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa; 5pm; free; 707.546.0744). The event offers a multimedia presentation honoring the life of the Rev. James Coffee. Spirited oratories from middle and high school students, a children's art show and performances by the Redwood Empire Chinese Association Lion Dance Group and the Celebration Mass Choir are planned, and a children's program features storyteller Janaka Stagnaro.
The celebration is followed on Monday by Community Awareness Day—a day on, not off—at the Community Baptist Church (1620 Sonoma Ave., Santa Rosa; 707.546.0744). Also, the Sonoma County Regional Parks is offering a day of service (Jan. 17 at Foothill Regional Park; 1351 Arata Lane, Windsor; 10am; free; 707.565.3356). Tools, gloves, drinks and snacks will be provided. In Napa, the volunteer center seeks day-on volunteers to revegetate a stream channel; simple mulching and weeding is all that's asked to honor the great reverend (contact Frances Knapczyk at 707.252.4188).
As frost settles over windowsills and causes plants to freeze, thoughts turn to community members who may not have a heated home. Marin County begins its efforts through a census count of persons experiencing homelessness in the community. Rolled out every two years, the next "Point in Time" count takes place on Jan. 27. The census helps to preserve integral funding for resources and allows Marin to assess the extent and nature of homelessness in the community. A meeting will be held for those interested in volunteering for the count on Friday, Jan. 14, at the Marin County Health and Wellness Campus. 3240 Kerner Blvd., San Rafael. 1pm. 415.499.3798.
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