Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Photo via Wikimedia Commons

The 33rd annual All Peoples Celebration, honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., will take place Monday as a virtual event and will feature keynote speaker Rev. Dr. Yvette Flunder, founder and pastor of the City Of Refuge, United Church of Christ in Oakland.

The 10:30 a.m. event is organized by Alliance San Diego, a community empowerment organization with the mission to build coalitions to promote justice and social change. The virtual event features Flunder as well as musical performances from the Kumeyaay Bird Singers, The Bengsons and poetry by Emmy-award winning poet, Boris “BLUZ” Rogers.

“For over 30 years, San Diegans have come together to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. King at the All Peoples Celebration,” said Andrea Guerrero, executive director of Alliance San Diego. “Our theme this year, “Persist,” is an affirmation, to come together, no matter who we are or where we come from, and persist in our commitment to make Dr. King’s “Beloved Community” a reality.

The event is a reflection of King’s quote: “That freedom only comes through persistent revolt, through persistent agitation, through persistently rising up against the system of evil.”

While this event usually brings together more than 1,000 San Diegans for an inspiring program and breakfast, this year’s program will be totally virtual, and can be enjoyed from the comfort and safety of home.

Flunder is an award-winning gospel singer and presiding Bishop of The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries. She is on the board of Starr King School for the Ministry and DEMOS and has taught at theological schools. She is a graduate of the Pacific School of Religion and received her doctorate of ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary. She is also the author of Where the Edge Gathers: A Theology of Homiletic and Radical Inclusion.

“I’m honored to be chosen as keynote speaker for this event, honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,” Flunder said. “As we continue to struggle to build our Beloved Kingdom, we know that to persist is to resist.”

Guerrero said she was honored to have Flunder speak at the event.

“We look forward to hearing Bishop Flunder’s reflections on what it means to “persist,” through adversity and towards a future where all people can achieve their full potential, she said.

— City News Service

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