OPINION: Seattle’s enduring connection to the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.


by Larry Gosset


The annual Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Walk and Rally will take place Monday morning, January 17, beginning at 11 a.m. at Garfield High School.

Remember, the Seattle Martin Luther King Jr. Organizing Coalition, as always, wants as many people as possible to join us for the 40th year in a row that we’re hosting a community tribute and tribute to the wonderful efforts of MLK Jr. racial and economic justice for all in the United States.

Every year, thousands of grassroots people attend our event. As in the past, this year’s rally and march will take place at Garfield High School, located at 400 23rd Avenue, at East Jefferson Street.

No local community organizer in another city can match our record of accomplishment. That is to say, no other city has paid such tribute to the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. 39 years in a row. Help us keep this great tradition alive by joining us in this year’s celebration.

Remember, all of you: no other citizen of any city in our country has been as capable as the activists of Seattle – especially its black, other people of color and progressive white leaders – of attracting thousands of people from all walks of life to come together each year to honor Dr. King’s legacy.

The focus of our celebration of Dr. King’s leadership of this country’s monumental civil and human rights movement is centered each year on workshops around important issues related to racism, economic inequality and between gender and other inequalities that our community faces locally and/or nationally.

This year is no exception; our theme is “TRUTH IN EDUCATION NOW!” Our organizing coalition is asking people to join us as we discuss ways our community can better resist and fight right-wing attacks on us locally and get our teachers to teach the truth on black history. We also plan to discuss how we could end all lies Republicans and other racist conservatives talk about stealing the 2020 presidential election from Donald Trump.

Finally, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, our people’s gathering, like last year’s, will be held outside in the parking lot in front of Garfield High School, and we ask, one more times, everyone to wear a mask. For those who forget, we will have plenty of masks to distribute to you at Garfield on Monday. We will also, due to the pandemic, have a reduced number of workshops – all this year will be on Zoom.

For more information on which workshops you can all attend, and to find out which ones will be taking place in the days leading up to Monday, email us at [email protected] or visit https://www.seattlemlkcoalition .org/workshop-topics-2022.


Editor’s Note: For other local events honoring, commemorating and celebrating the leadership of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the ongoing impact on the civil rights movement today, see the “Events Guide venues to celebrate Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.”


The South Seattle Emerald is committed to maintaining space for a variety of viewpoints within our community, with the understanding that differing viewpoints do not negate mutual respect among community members.

The opinions, beliefs and views expressed by contributors on this website do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and views of Emerald or the official policies of Emerald.


Larry Gosset, a longtime social justice activist and former King County Councilman, is a member of the Seattle MLK Jr. Organizing Coalition.

📸 Feature Image: Scenes from the 39th Annual Walk and Rally to commemorate the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. in 2021. (Photo: Susan Fried)

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