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Public service and celebrations mark Martin Luther King Jr. holiday in L.A.

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The Inglewood High School marching band participates in last year’s Kingdom Day Parade in Los Angeles.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

For those who want to serve or celebrate on Monday’s King holiday, there are options across Los Angeles, including school and park cleanups and a parade.

The annual Kingdom Day Parade will start at 10 a.m. at Western Avenue and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. The parade route runs down MLK Boulevard to Crenshaw Boulevard., where it turns left and then ends at Vernon Avenue. The grand marshal is Keke Palmer of ABC’s “GMA3: Strahan, Sara & Keke.”

ABC7 Eyewitness News anchors Michelle Tuzee and Leslie Sykes will serve as hosts of this year’s parade, whose theme is “Equality for All Humanity, Our Next Step.” After the parade, there will be a festival in Leimert Park with booths, food and music open until 5 p.m.

For another take on the meaning of the day, there will be a dialogue at the Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Santa Monica in Forbes Hall. The theme is “Confronting Structural Racism in Traditionally White Spaces.” The goal, according to organizers, is to “examine structural racism through the lens of whiteness and privilege, including a reflection upon issues of fragility, microaggressions and responsibility.” The discussion will conclude with “sharing strategies for working toward reconciliation and justice.”

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In Long Beach, more than 500 volunteers are expected to complete 20 service projects across the city in an event sponsored by the Port of Long Beach, Habitat for Humanity, the City of Long Beach and various organizations.

Participants are invited to assemble at Seaside Park, near 14th Street and Chestnut Avenue, for a kickoff rally and celebratory remembrance at King at 8 a.m. There will be a pancake breakfast before the short program.

“We want all volunteers to attend to confirm their volunteer project site information and we will send you to your site by 9 a.m.,” organizers have advised.

The projects include: a cleanup of Seaside Park; a spruce up and organizing of a clothing bank for Long Beach City College students; landscaping at Willow Springs Park, and yard work for the elderly.

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In Hollywood, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., the nonprofit Big Sunday will collect clothes for women, men, boys and girls of all ages and sizes. New and gently used work clothes, casual clothes, warm clothes and coats and athletic wear are needed. New socks and underwear are appreciated, too, as are donations for the purchase of those items.

Volunteers will help sort, count, fold and pack donated clothing. Last year, these efforts resulted in the distribution of more than 50,000 articles of clothing.

There also will be breakfast, arts and crafts projects throughout the morning and entertainment from the Blue Breeze Band. The address is: 6111 Melrose Ave.


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