MLK Day of Service expanded to focus on financial self-sufficiency 

Business and employment in black neighborhoods will be the focus of newly expanded Martin Luther King Day activities scheduled today in the Western Addition.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service is an annual event that encourages volunteerism. It has been held at King Garvey Co-Op Community Center yearly since 2006, according to organizer Carlos Levexier. He said activities this year will also be held at the Plaza East and Pitts Plaza housing developments.

Local groups and groups linked to YMCA Urban Services today will show films by local filmmakers, host spoken-word competitions and provide advice on business, employment and real estate, said Levexier, a violence-prevention activist at the Western Addition Family Resource Center.

"We’re concentrating on technological innovation, business practices and social development," Levexier said. "This event is followed by the 40 days of nonviolence initiative, which encourages communities across the country to look at the underlying causes of violence."

Social services offered today are similar to those offered at community service centers throughout San Francisco, such as the Western Addition Family Resource Center, according to YMCA of San Francisco president Chuck Collins.

"This is a chance to get people to start thinking about different ways of finding financial literacy and more economic self-sufficiency," Collins said.

In San Mateo County, residents will celebrate King’s birthday with the Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration on the Freedom Train to San Francisco. Participants will march from the Civic Center to Bill Graham Civic Auditorium for "MLK Rally & Teach-In: 22nd Annual Celebration." The train is scheduled to depart the San Jose Diridon Caltrain station at 10 a.m. Monday, stopping at the Sunnyvale, Palo Alto and San Mateo stations before arriving in San Francisco by 11:40 a.m.

jupton@examiner.com  

Schedule of events

» 8 to 9:30 a.m.: Check in for MLK Day of Service at Plaza East and Pitts Plaza housing developments, and King Garvey Co-Op Community Center

» 9 a.m. to 5 p.m: MLK Rally and Teach-in, Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, 99 Grove St.

» 10 a.m.: Freedom March, starts at Fourth and Townsend streets.

» 11:35 a.m.: Freedom Train arrives at San Francisco Caltrain station from San Jose, Sunnyvale, Palo Alto and San Mateo.

» 4:30 p.m.: Julian Richardson Achievement Award presentation, Marcus Bookstore, 1712 Fillmore St.

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