Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Celebration

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

MLK Day 21st Annual Celebration, January 18, 2021

Thank you to our amazing teen-led MLK Day Committee and each of the contributors, in front of the camera and behind the scenes, that have made this production possible. While we will greatly miss gathering together in the center of our little town as usual, we celebrate the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with as much passion as ever… but this year we’re online!

Thank you for supporting this important work.

Join us virtually at 11:00am on Monday, January 18 – YouTube @ Ojai Unified School District

Direct link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQv6asoqggk

The History of the Event

For more than two decades the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Community Celebration has been held in Libbey Park in downtown Ojai. This dynamic event is put on by a committee of Ojai high school students in partnership with OVYF. The celebration features performances by guest speakers and musicians, local schools, student winners of a spoken word essay contest, food and refreshments. Youth posters created by different classrooms and schools around the valley are on display, each one highlighting the importance of MLK Jr.’s message. Our event concludes annually by broadcasting Dr. King’s “I Have A Dream” speech.

There are many opportunities for youth to participate. Beyond serving as a committee member, all youth are invited to write a poem or spoken word piece about how they personally relate to Dr. Martin Luther King’s vision. Authors from elementary, junior high and high schools receive recognition, and are invited to share their work at the MLK Day Celebration. Questions? Contact OVYF Board Vice President Suzanne Feldman at: suzfeldman@gmail.com.

2021 Theme: Climb to stand tall on the shoulders of those who have come before.

Celebration Line-Up January 18, 2021, 11:00am

Mayor Betsy Stix – Ojai’s MLK Day Proclamation
Chumash Elder Julie Tumamait – Blessing and song
Oak Grove Singers with teacher Adrienne Hoskins
Secure Beginnings Grant for Diversity Teaching – from Director Renee Mandala
MLK Middle-School Workshop inspirational speaker readings and writings
Song by Eddie Tuduri “Let the Children Live” with Steve McCurry photographs of children around the world from Matilija Middle School’s exhibit
Teen Committee Letter to Yolanda King and family
Distinguished guest speaker Arlo Lucas
Distinguished guest speaker Brenda Russell
Distinguished guest speaker Alphonso Johnson
Distinguished guest speaker Diane Steinberg Lewis
Singer-songwriters Perla Batalla with Eva Batalla-Mann and Poet Luis Rodriguez
Distinguished guest speaker Eva Batalla-Mann
Distinguished Poet-songwriter Gill Sotu with Guitarist-singer Lee Coulter
Student Essay entries, poems, and winners/reader
Distinguished Singer-songwriter Jade Hendrix
Distinguished Singer-songwriter James Antunez
James Vega, City Manager, reading from the Ojai Resolution on Racial Equality
Nordhoff Chamber Choir, lead by Mr Bill Wagner

2021 Quote:

“Change does not roll on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Kenzie and Gus

    Dr. MLK Jr. Day Community Celebration 2021!

    We are so grateful for the awesome youth on the 2021 MLK Jr. Day Committee! A small group planned and coordinated the amazing online celebration of 2021 in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s teachings and accomplishments. To learn about our 2021 event visit the MLK Day webpage! To view OVYF’s video celebration in honor of Dr. King, visit the Ojai Unified School District YouTube page here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQv6asoqggk

  • OVYF Ripples Program ROCKS

    OVYF is planning another great RIPPLES program. This year, in partnership with Learning to See, we invite a dozen youth to join us for a series of experiential art workshops and local artist tours. Space is limited for this free program; please contact us to be notified when we reschedule and we are free to gather together again. Last year’s participants went rock climbing with Trails By Potter, hit up a slam poetry night at Da Poetry Lounge in West Hollywood, and created art with local Ojai artists. Read more on the RIPPLES page…


  • BLinc Graduation

    Building Lives, Inc. Postponed Until Future Notice

    BLINC is a beloved OVYF program that brings Ojai youth together weekly throughout the school year. High-school students from across the Valley are welcome to join us for good company, to play Peace Sticks, and enjoy music and food– all free, as always. Once school resumes, we will convene on Wednesdays at Nordhoff HS, from 3-5P. Feel free to call or email with questions.

    More on the BLINC page…