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MJC to host MLK Jr. Commemoration, African American Education Conference
African American Ed Conference

Modesto Junior College’s 27th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration will be presented virtually at 7 p.m. Feb. 27.

The MLK Commemoration has a rich history. For the past 27 years some amazing, historically significant civil rights speakers have been on Modesto’s stage. Every year, these speakers regaled the audience with wisdom, history, modern application, and as always, a bit of humor.  This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a very special program will be presented like no other in the history of this event.  

Judge Ruben Villalobos will return as the host and will help look back on some of the inspirational speakers that Modesto has had the privilege of hosting.  Some of them, sadly, are no longer with us. There will be clips of Yolanda King, daughter of Martin Luther King Jr., “Good Trouble” Congressman John Lewis and beloved Maya Angelou, who spoke to a standing room only audience in the MJC gymnasium in 2001. There will also be many other clips of past speakers.

This year has been a year of coming together as a community, even though we are physically distanced.  In that spirit, MJC will feature the unsung heroes in our community; people who are doing good things for others and not expecting any recognition.  

The arts will be prominently featured in this celebration.  There will be the premiere of poetry from two renowned local poets, Gillian Wegener and “The Ninja Poet,” Sam Pierstorff.  There will also be dance and inspirational music performed by talented musicians.  

As part of the commemoration, the MLK Legacy Award will be presented to a recipient for community service and who exemplifies Dr. King’s spirit of “I have a dream.”

Viewers can join the celebration by going to or go directly to a link on Modesto Junior College’s home page at for the free presentation.

Recording and editing the presentation is Wes Page, Modesto Junior College retiree.

Organizational sponsors for this event are Modesto Peace/Life Center; Modesto Junior College; NAACP; Project Uplift; City of Modesto, Parks, Recreation and Neighborhoods Department; CSU, Stanislaus.

Earlier in the day, Modesto Junior College Campus Life & Student Learning will celebrate African American history and culture by hosting the African American Education Conference with a virtual Zoom event from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.  The conference is free to all junior high, high school, and college students. Parents are encouraged to attend.   Go to to RSVP or call (209) 575-6700 for more information.