The celebrating for this years’ Martin Luther King holiday has ended and again we had a very successful and fun filled time. The cash prizes, trophies, and certificates have been awarded. The young winners have had pictures taken with Tournament of Roses representatives, a member of Congress, California assembly members, and local political leaders.

          We celebrated the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. but our objective has not yet been fulfilled. We are still working to make his dream and ours a reality. Our loyal volunteers are continuing to do community work and bringing to us ideas as to the things we can do to improve relations within our communities.

           To view the pictures of our winners and other participants at events held this year, take a tour of our photo section and our contests sections.   The young leaders of tomorrow have shown extraordinary talents and we are privileged to showcase them.

             There will be more coming through the weeks and months ahead. We hope you will continue viewing our website (


Reminder: This Monday, January 15th is MLK Jr. Day! Please Join Us For Our Celebration!

Monday, January 15, 2018 | 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Celebration and Student Awards
McKinley Elementary School (new location!)
325 S. Oak Knoll | Pasadena, CA  91101

Description:  The Martin Luther King Community Coalition, Pasadena Unified School District, Pasadena Tournament of Roses, and Aspires West of Pasadena in conjunction with the city of Pasadena, National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, Inc., Gamma Lambda chapter presents the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday breakfast and celebration.

Families, friends, community members, local and state political leaders will be in attendance as student finalists are presented awards for their participation in the MLK Community Coalition Essay and Visual & Performing Arts Contest.  This free event features guest speakers (including keynote speaker Shimica Gaskins) and wonderful entertainment, and is the culminating ceremony of the 2017-2018 MLK Holiday Celebration events.

Our Keynote Speaker, Shimica Gaskins

The MLK Coalition is proud to present Shimica Gaskins as our keynote speaker for Martin Luther King Jr Day! Below is a profile of our esteemed speaker! 

Also reminder that our “MLK Day On, Not Off” event is being held this Saturday at Webster Elementary.

Shimica Gaskins is the Executive Director of the Children’s Defense Fund–California. She has worked in law and public policy specializing in legislative, regulatory, and policy issues associated with criminal justice reform and children’s rights. She formerly served as the Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Policy of the U.S. Department of Justice.  At OLP, Shimica worked to develop and implement innovative policy initiatives of the Department and Administration in areas such as Smart on Crime, law enforcement and emerging technologies, prison reform, reentry, and issues affecting children with incarcerated parents. Prior to joining DOJ, she was in private practice at Covington & Burling LLP where she managed complex civil litigation.  She clerked for the Honorable Roger L. Gregory on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and the Honorable Victoria Roberts on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.  She received her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and graduated cum laude with BA in philosophy from the Catholic University of America. Most recently, Shimica served as the Director of Policy and Outreach for The Fair and Just Prosecution Project – a project that supports newly elected prosecutors committed to innovative criminal justice reform policies.

Over the course of her legal career, Shimica has worked to find ways to effectuate change. She has provided hundreds of pro bono hours representing indigent clients, worked as an advocate for children and kinship caregivers at the Children’s Law Center in Washington, D.C., and served on an advocates board for homelessness and poverty.  Shimica has argued three appeals, as a CJA panel attorney, in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. She has taught as an adjunct professor at Catholic University of America and the Charles Hamilton Houston Preparatory Law School Institute.  She has published law review articles on sentencing laws, child welfare, and voting rights.  She also serves as a mentor to many law students and young lawyers. In 2016, she was honored with the National Bar Association’s “40 Under 40 Best Advocates” Award.


Happy Holidays

Happy holidays to all of our supporters, our followers, their families, and all of our friends. May you find health, happiness, warmth and prosperity during the days of the New Year.

January is the month of the birth of Dr. Martin King, Jr. and is the time that we celebrate his life
and legacy. We start our celebrations on January 6th at the City Hall of Pasadena, California.

This event is sponsored by Pasadena Human Relations Commission in conjunction with the Martin Luther King Coalition and begins at 10:00 a.m. Some of the leaders of our city and state will be present. There will be entertainment also. Please join us there!

From a long list of entries, the final three in each category for essays has been chosen and the finalists have been notified. On January 9th the judges listen to each of the finalists from elementary, middle and high schools, and the final placements will be decided. This event, like all our events, is open to the public. The judging will be held at Marshall Fundamental School (990 N. Allen Dr.) in the city of Pasadena, California. Please join us for this event. See what our future leaders are thinking and listen to their thoughts for making this a better world.

To see the other events for this month go to our website calendar and plan to attend as many events as you can. It should be inspirational to see and hear our future leaders.

Leading Up To January Events

A Chronology Strategically Designed for MLK 2017-18 Events : May 15, 2017 Expectations & Orientation for MLK Essay & Visual Art Coordinators. Who Can We Count On ?

June 2017: A Committee came-up with the 2017 Theme : ” How can you and others use Non-violence to engage in creating Peace & Justice for all people everywhere ?”

August 2017: Memorandum to the Pasadena Unified School District & Pasadena Tournament of Roses to co-sponsor the MLK 2017-18 Events.

September 2017: Dr. Brian McDonald (PUSD) met with Dr. Jacqueline Jacobs & Ms. Jessica Valentine to approve the MLK 2017 packet and Mr. Le Wayne Williams, Pasadena Tournament of Roses, agreed to fund the essay & art contests.

October 2017: Many, many meetings, telephone calls, personal interactions, several Orientation sessions, and speaking engagements at schools took place regarding up-coming events.

November 2017: Continuous dialogue with the PUSD, T.O.R., Essay, Performing Arts Committees, Private Schools Committee, Hospitality Committee, MLK Flyer Distribution Comm. Meetings with Ms. Julie Reynoso and principals from Webster Elementary and Marshall Fundamental Schools leading up to the Friday, November 17th deadline.

Now, Let the Judging  for the contests begin!