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Third annual MLK Interfaith Breakfast hosted at Glendale Community College

Keynote Speaker Alexandria Gurley, left, conducts a power-point workshop on diversity during the Third Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Interfaith Breakfast held in the Student Center Conference room at Glendale Community College in Glendale on Tuesday morning, January 16, 2018.
Keynote Speaker Alexandria Gurley, left, conducts a power-point workshop on diversity during the Third Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Interfaith Breakfast held in the Student Center Conference room at Glendale Community College in Glendale on Tuesday morning, January 16, 2018.
(Dan Watson)

About 100 people filled the student center conference room at Glendale Community College Tuesday as the school’s Martin Luther King Jr. celebration committee held its third annual MLK Interfaith Breakfast, featuring spoken-word artist Alexandria Gurley.

The event included an MLK retrospective by Ziza Delgado — the college’s cultural diversity program coordinator — and Gurley’s two interactive activities designed to teach about “cultural competency.”

Glendale City Councilman Vrej Agajanian and representatives from the offices of Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank), state Sen. Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada Flintridge) and Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger joined the breakfast.

In her opening remarks, Delgado said history has been kinder to King than his contemporaries, and if he were still alive, he would have continued his fight for those in society’s periphery.

“I have no doubt that if he were alive today, he would be fighting for the rights of the incarcerated, formerly incarcerated, undocumented and all those whom society is quick to disregard,” she said.

Gurley followed the opening remarks with an interactive presentation on “the importance of being culturally competent,” which discussed notions of privilege, prejudice and bias in everyday life.

“In an ideal world, we would have multiculturalism,” Gurley said.

Attendees were asked to complete a quiz to measure their “cultural competency” based on a series of questions about beliefs, feelings and actions regarding other cultures.

Gurley also led an exercise about code-switching in culture — a linguistic concept of moving between multiple languages and dialects but applied more broadly to aspects of identity.

The program ended with two poems recited by Gurley, one written after the 2013 exoneration of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, and the other, Gurley said, was inspired by an interaction with a former co-worker who asked what color Gurley’s skin turns when she bruises.

jeff.landa@latimes.com

Twitter: @JeffLanda


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