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Chicoans celebrate 50 years since March on Washington

By Colin Steiner, csteiner@krcrtv.com
Published On: Dec 24 2013 03:39:36 AM CST
Updated On: Aug 29 2013 12:01:17 PM CDT
Chicoans celebrate 50 years since March on Washington
CHICO, Calif. -

Wednesday marked the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s iconic "I Have a Dream" speech, and the Chico community held their own march to commemorate the historic day.

Hundreds of people of all ages and races marched from the Dorothy Johnson Center on 16th Street to the Martin Luther King Jr. statue at 20th Street Park.

"A lot of us [weren't] even born then, at the time," says Pastor Vince Haynie, who helped organize the event. "So we didn't personally get to experience that, but right now the whole nation is commemorating that event 50 years ago."

Organizers also used the event to reinvigorate King's message.

"We're calling this event 'Realize the Dream'," says Haynie, "because we don't believe the dream has been fulfilled. So we're here to continue the fight, the good fight of faith, to move forward."

The Chico Peace and Justice Center along with the MLK Unity Group organized the event.

Cara Lamumba, who sang the African-American national anthem as part of the celebration, says people need to be in touch with history to be able to understand challenges of the present present.

"We have to know where we came from in order to know where we're going," Lamumba says, "and since Dr. King was about equal rights for everybody, I'm thrilled there are so many people here."

And, for her, the diversity of the crowd spoke volumes about King's legacy.

"That says that Dr. King has touched every body's life in one way or another, and everybody has the same goal."