More than 200 people gathered at the Gig Harbor Boatyard and Marina on Monday night to celebrate and learn from the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
The event was co-hosted by Indivisible Gig Harbor and the Social Democrats Club and featured performances by community members and by the Peninsula High School Advanced Chamber Choir led by Alison Ellis; readings of Dr. King and related works by community members and local high school students; greetings from Congressman Derek Kilmer, Pierce County Councilman Derek Young, and Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist; and words, teachings, and benedictions by emcee and State Senate candidate Emily Randall, Bishop Lawrence Robertson, and community members.
In addition to celebrating Dr. King’s legacy and teachings, this event also had significant timing for Gig Harbor’s community. In recent months, and on the morning of the event, posters advertising a white supremacist group featuring Nazi themes and imagery have been found posted around the central hubs of town. In a desire to counteract these postings, and a general climate of division and racism on the rise nationally, the organizers sought to provide a space for celebration and reflection on a civil rights icon.
Whatever the motivation from the organizers, the energy in the room that night was filled with unity, community, and hope as a diverse people from all over the Harbor and Kitsap peninsula gathered together and shared in each other’s thoughts, voices, and experiences.
Former State Rep. Larry Seaquist said that the event “changed the climate in Gig Harbor.”
After the success of this event, this will hopefully become an annual gathering, with the running joke of the evening being “next year, we’re going to need a bigger venue.”