The 33rd annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., birthday celebration will be held on Monday, January 21, 2019, at 9 a.m. in the Oxnard Room of the Oxnard Performing Arts Center. Admission includes refreshments, and entry to the celebration and vendor exhibits. This year’s theme comes from Dr. King’s Letter from a Birgmingham Jail, wherein he writes, “Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly… Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
The keynote speaker will be Falilah “Aisha” Bilal, Senior Trainer with The National Black Women’s Justice Institute. Falilah has worked joyously for over 30 years creating innovative, relevant evidence based strategies to transform, empower and develop individuals, systems, organizations and contemporary thought. Falilah’s work is centered in healing practices, empowering youth, self-discovery and issues that systemically impact groups of people.
FaIiiah was raised by parents who are pioneers in the Black Power movement of the 1960s, which instilled within her a foundation dedicated to helping others and a love for all humanity. At 14 years old, Falilah participated as a youth leader in healing retreats with the Black Woman’s Health project, where she was introduced to basic healing techniques, group facilitation skills, and participated as a teen leader guiding inter- generational healing experiences. Ms. Bilal continued to deepen her skills as a youth leader by participating in numerous youth programs and leadership trainings. As a leader in this field, she was invited to present at the United Nation’s Beijing Plus Five World Conference on Women’s Issues.
Currently Falilah serves as a Senior Trainer with the National Black Women’s Justice Institute and a Radical Healer with Flourish Agenda. In addition, Ms. Bilal directs her own consulting company where she provides trainings and executive leadership to local and national agencies, companies and programs. Recently, she served as the Executive Director for M.I.S.S.S.E.Y. raising over $2 million to support sexually exploited children and young adults. Ms. Bilal holds a M.A. in Counseling Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies and a B.A. in Theater Arts and Child Psychology from San Francisco State University.
The day will begin with a Freedom March from Plaza Park at Fifth and “C” Streets. Community members, elected officials, and spiritual leaders will assemble at the park for prayer at 8 a.m.; the march will begin at 8:15 a.m. and then proceed to the Oxnard Performing Arts Center. Transportation is available to Plaza Park from the Performing Arts Center parking lot for the march only.
The celebration program will begin at 9 a.m. and will feature youth speakers, scripture readings, and musical selections by the MLK Community Choir directed by Dr. Angela Timmons.
Tickets are also available for purchase direct from MLK Committee members and a limited number may be available on the day of the event at Plaza Park and at the entrance to the event (cash or check).