January 17, 2020 12:03 pm

Thanks to a collaboration of a number of community leaders, a unique series of civil rights-focused events will take place throughout February in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and Black History Month. Pierce College Executive Officer for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Charlie Parker hopes the college community finds these events engaging and thought-provoking.
 
“It’s so important to engage in our history and lift up our heroes in a way that empowers the next generation,” Parker said.
 
The City of Lakewood will host its 17th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration on Sat., Feb. 1 from 10-11:30 a.m., featuring Pierce College alumna Shalom Aburu as keynote speaker. Aburu will share her story of traveling to the United States from Uganda to attend Pierce College, along with the challenges and triumphs she faced along the way. Today, she runs Aburu Fashion House, which features a clothing line that blends her African heritage with western culture. In 2018, Aburu was crowned Miss Uganda North America and Miss Africa Washington State. Through these organizations, she has the opportunity to reach out to communities in need in her home country of Uganda.
 
The event will also feature remarks by community leaders, performances by the Clover Park High School choir, YMCA dancers, and student-led poetry. The celebration will take place at Harrison Preparatory School, located at 9103 Lakewood Dr. SW, Lakewood, WA, 98499.
 
Starting January 20, a weekly email newsletter called Hidden Heroes will highlight lesser-known heroes, leaders and pioneers from the African-American community. Both national and local heroes will be featured each week. To subscribe, email BGrimley@cityoflakewood.us, or read it online at the City of Lakewood's City News page.
 
An African American Storytelling event will take place on Saturday, Feb. 8 from 12-12:45 p.m. at the Tillicum Pierce County Library. Celebrate Black History Month with Kimi Ginn as she performs stories exploring the Civil Rights Movement, including a Rosa Parks dramatization and a tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr. The Tillicum Pierce County Library is located at 14916 Washington Ave. SW, Lakewood, WA, 98498.
 
The Lakewood Pierce County Library will host Mrs. Mary Church Terrell: A Remarkable Woman on Saturday, Feb. 15 from 2-2:45. Enjoy a live performance with Eva Abram as Mary Church Terrell, the daughter of formerly enslaved parents who became a leading activist for women’s suffrage and civil rights for African Americans. The Lakewood Pierce County Library is located at 6300 Wildaire Rd. SW, Lakewood, WA, 98499.
 
A number of Pierce College students will host a voter registration drive called Voting Made Easy on Saturday, Feb. 15 from 3:15-5 p.m. at the Lakewood Pierce County Library, located at 6300 Wildaire Rd. SW, Lakewood, WA, 98499.