MLK March Donations To Support Education

Sam Starks.rgbSACRAMENTO – After more than three decades of symbolic tribute to the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., organizers of a local march in the civil rights icon’s honor are asking members of the community to go the extra mile and put their money where they’re feet are.

Sacramento’s March for the Dream is set for Monday, January 21 and for the first time, organizers, MLK365, are taking donations from participants to help obtain educational equality.

MLK365 board member Sam Starks said the goal is to raise $365,000. Proceeds will go to the March for the Dream Foundation and benefit local school districts, businesses and faith and community-based organizations that offer projects that inspire students, engage parents, activate communities and provide training for teachers.

“On the 50th anniversary of King’s Dream speech and after 32 years of marching, we stopped and reflected on the state of that dream,” Starks shared.

“Over the years, when we asked marchers if they felt that marching is making a difference, they would inevitably say no, but it made them feel good. We have always prided ourselves in giving people the ‘best King experience,’ and in life, King made a difference. So for us, the best possible King experience is knowing you are making a difference in the life of another person.

Individuals and groups can register as marchers at www.marchforthedream.org. They can then encourage supporters, or donors, to go to their “page” and donate money to the cause.

MLK March2011Tasked with its motto of “Honoring the past, impacting the future,” Starks said MLK365 committee members also asked themselves what Dr. King would think of the achievement gap that separates poor and minority students from their mainstream and affluent counterparts.

“With 1.3 million young people dropping out of school each year, 7,000 students a month, we had a pretty good idea that King would say, ‘raise awareness and funds to eliminate the achievement gap.’”

For examples of successful “economic activism,” the Board looked at other events and campaigns such as those put on by the Susan G. Komen Foundation and the Sacramento Food Bank.

“We said to ourselves, ‘If they can ‘Race for the Cure’ and ‘Run for the Hungry’ why can’t we ‘March for the Dream?’”
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By Genoa Barrow
OBSERVER Senior Staff Writer