Martin Luther King Jr. Community Celebration

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

MLK Day 19th Annual Celebration, 2019


This year’s theme, ‘The Amazing Power of Unity and Courage’, was chosen by the MLK Day Committee from a Martin Luther King Jr. quote they came across and loved.

The 19th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Community Celebration was held on Monday, January 21st 2019, at Libbey Park in downtown Ojai. This fun-filled event was put on by a committee of Ojai high school students in partnership with OVYF. This year’s celebration featured performances by local students, winners of a spoken word essay contest, food and refreshments. Students were also invited to sing and celebrate on stage during the day. Posters created by different classrooms and schools around the valley were on display, each one highlighting the importance of MLK Jr.’s message. Our event began at 10am and activities commenced at 3pm, with the broadcast of King’s “I Have A Dream” speech.

There were many opportunities for youth to participate. Students were invited to write a short poem or spoken word piece about how they personally relate to Dr. Martin Luther King’s vision. Select authors from elementary, junior high and high schools received recognition, and were asked to share their work at the MLK Day Celebration. Questions? Contact OVYF Board Vice President Suzanne Feldman at:

General schedule Jan. 14, 2019:

  • Welcome
  • Blessing from Chumash Elder Julie Tumamait
  • Proclamation from Ojai Mayor
  • Songs from Monica Ros School
  • Songs from Oak Grove School
  • Perla Batalla
  • Alan Thornhill and Jem Ruf
  • Gil Sotu
  • The Chilz
  • County Supervisor Das Williams
  • Jade Hendrix
  • Lanny Kaufer
  • MLK’s Dream Speech
  • Kenzie and Gus

    Thank You for Attending MLK Jr. Day, Community Celebration 2020!

    We are so grateful for the awesome youth on the 2020 MLK Jr. Day Committee! A small group planned and hosted the 20th annual MLK Jr. Day Community Celebration on Monday, January 20, 2020. Julie Tumamait, a beloved Chumash elder, brightened everyone’s day with a beautiful blessing and opening ceremony. Several classes of young kids captivated and entertained the audience with songs and a play; teen students from Villanova and Ventura inspired and enlightened with powerful poetry and spoken word. Beloved local musicians Perla Batalla, Allan Thornhill, Martin Young, and John Espinoza played glorious music for all to enjoy. Susan Pelfrey, a chosen family member of the Kings, shared personal stories about Dr. King and his family. Youngsters and elders played Peace Sticks together in Libbey park, and kids got their faces painted by Ventura Interact. Lastly, King’s ‘I Have A Dream’ speech played loudly from speakers, his voice and energy omnipresent and uplifting for all who were downtown.

    Tentatively, committee meetings will resume on Wednesdays starting in summer, 2020, on Nordhoff HS Campus (Email us for exact location). To learn about our 2019 event, visit HERE!

  • 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…