DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. DAY: ‘We are truly free when none are oppressed’


Springfield’s celebration of the holiday continued this year through the pandemic.

SPRINGFIELD – Organizations found a safe way for the community to gather together in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. for the 23rd year by hosting a safe and socially-distanced rally on Jan. 18.

A leader committed to justice and non-violence, “Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy continues to resonate, impact, and command attention,” said Steve Moe, who is functioning as Springfield interim mayor. “He serves as an inspiration for community healing following this difficult year. His messages are every bit as relevant today as we strive for communities that are inclusive, for systems that are just and fair, and for a nation that honors and celebrates diversity.”


Participants wrote their resolutions toward healing and rebuilding the USA.

The event was hosted by The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and Springfield Alliance for Equality and Respect (SAfER) in collaboration with the City of Springfield, Springfield Public Schools, and Willamalane Park and Recreation District.

With virus cases on the rise, instead of the traditional march from the Springfield Justice Center to Springfield High School, community members joined in on the stationary car parade at the Serbu Juvenile Justice Center.

Organizations had the chance to interact with the public and share free MLK-inspired buttons, stickers, and free shirts in the parking lot. 


Doug Seinmann said he promotes MLK day every year, and considers him a hero.

The People’s Inauguration Ribbon Project handed out silky colorful ribbons to cars, asking people to write their New Year’s resolutions towards healing and rebuilding our country.

Health Care for All Oregon was one of the vendors, and encouraged people to visit their website and share their health care experiences of loss and suffering.

A contest that celebrates the life and work of Dr. King is now open to Springfield students in grades K-12. Students are asked to submit an essay, poem, artwork, photographic presentation, poster, video, or any other type of art relating to this year’s theme is “We are truly free when none are oppressed.”


“I encourage our Springfield students to participate in this event, to share your contribution with your families, and to stay active in learning about individuals who make positive impacts in our social reform,” Interim Mayor Moe said. 

Deadline for all art, essay, poetry, posters, and videos is on Feb. 26, 2021, and June 1 for all high school speeches.



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