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Arts and Culture

PAST MArtin Luther King Jr. Celebration speakers



Darnesha Weary, Owner Black Coffee Northwest and CEO/Owner Let's Do Work

The MLK Committee invites you to attend the Martin Luther King Jr. celebration on Thursday, January 21. The theme this year is “Facing the Rising Sun.” With the significant strife, violence, and other challenges that we are facing in our nation, we believe and know that better days are ahead of us. The eminent Dr. King stated, “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” As we face the rising sun, we must take an assessment of ourselves, gain more understanding of our past and present, take a stand, and activate bold, intentional, and strategic actions that create a better world for all of us. So join us on January 21, as our community celebrates the life and teachings of Dr. King with an empowering message from keynote speaker Darnesha Weary, activist, owner of Black Coffee Northwest, and CEO/Owner of Let’s Do Work. We hope you will come and renew your commitment to actively using your gifts, skills, passion, and abilities to create change that demands justice for all!


Darnesha Weary


Keynote speaker: Nikkita Oliver
“Civil Rights: Who Were We Then, Where Are We Now?”

Nikkita Oliver

Nikkita Oliver is a Seattle-based creative, community organizer, abolitionist, educator, and attorney. Working at the intersections of arts, law, education, and community organizing she strives to create experiences which draw us closer to our humanity and invites us to imagine what we hope to see in the future. 

She has opened for Cornel West and Chuck D of Public Enemy, been featured on the Breakfast Club, KUOW's The Week in Review, and performed on The Late Night Show with Stephen Colbert. Her writing has been published in the South Seattle Emerald, Crosscut, the Establishment, Last Real Indians, The Seattle Weekly, and The Stranger. 

She organizes with No New Youth Jail and the Seattle Peoples Party. Nikkita is the co-executive director of Creative Justice, an arts-based alternative to incarceration and a healing engaged youth-led community-based program. Oliver was the first political candidate of the Seattle Peoples Party running for mayor of Seattle in 2017 narrowly missing the general election by approximately 1,100 votes; coming in third of 21 candidates. 


Edmonds College Welcomes Former Seattle Sonic SPENCER HAYWOOD

Spencer Haywood
Spencer Haywood, 2015 Basketball Hall of Fame inductee

Edmonds College will host a free Martin Luther King Jr. celebration on Thursday, Jan. 11. Join us as our community celebrates the life and teachings of Dr. King with an inspirational message from keynote speaker Spencer Haywood.

Haywood went from picking cotton in rural Mississippi to being inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, fighting every step of the way – for his civil rights, against addiction, and against the NBA itself in the U.S. Supreme Court.

He will speak at 12:30 p.m. on campus in the Black Box Theatre, 20310 68th Ave. W, Lynnwood. Tickets will be available at the door starting at 11:15 a.m. on a first come first serve basis.

From 3-4:30 p.m. in the Seaview Gym, Mr. Haywood will meet with athletes from Edmonds College campus for an informal Q & A session. Open to the public!

For directions and a campus map, visit edmonds.edu/campus.


Keynote Speaker: Dr. Joy DeGruy Renowned Author / Researcher / Educator

Dr. Joy DeGruy

Dr. Joy DeGruy is a nationally and internationally renowned researcher, educator, and author of “Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome –– America’s Legacy of Enduring Injury and Healing,” "Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome: The Study Guide," with a second book in the works, "Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome Part 2: Be The Healing."

DeGruy has been a featured speaker at Harvard and Columbia universities and is an ambassador for healing and a voice for those who’ve struggled in search of the past, and continue to struggle through the present.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in Communications, master’s degrees in Social Work and Clinical Psychology, and a doctoral degree in Social Work Research. DeGruy has over 20 years of professional experience in the field of social work, and gives practical insight into cultural and ethnic groups that form the basis of contemporary American society.