In remembrance of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., an annual rally and march was held at Seattle’s Garfield High School on Monday.
Hundreds rallied inside the school’s gym. Every bleacher seat was filled, and many were forced to take a seat on the floor. Local tribal and religious leaders addressed the large crowd. Choirs and poets performed too.
Seattle-raised Elijah Lewis told KIRO 7′s Lauren Donovan he was impressed by the turnout.
“Man, it was packed. There was so many people, so much good energy,” said Lewis.
The Rainier Beach High School graduate was out to honor Dr. King’s legacy and raise awareness for his new-found organization, The Covenant.
“Twenty-three years old, and I’ve lost over forty people, and a lot of them were under the age of 21, and so that’s why I’m here today,” said Lewis. “We can’t continue to talk about the problems with our community if we’re not going to be a part of the change.”
Marchers left the high school just after 1 p.m. and started heading toward Jimmy Hendrix Park. Those participating were asked to meet in the school parking lot and wear masks.
“2023 marks forty years that the residents of Seattle and King County have and continue to honor the legacy and the mission of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a rally, march, internships, workshops, youth-led programming, and job fair,” the Seattle MLK Coalition said on its event page.
Earlier Monday, Seattle leaders, including Mayor Bruce Harrell, released a video of remarks.
“Now, we know the COVID-19 pandemic exposed and exacerbated many inequities that were present in our society, and as we think about our pandemic recovery as a city, we need to look at how we can set our equity across everything we do so everybody has the tools to succeed and thrive,” said Harrell.