MLK Holiday events in Tucson


American civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was born on January 15, 1929 in Atlanta Georgia, and was assassinated on April 4, 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee.  Monday January 18, 2016 is the national holiday designated for this great Black American, who fought for civil rights for all people, using nonviolent civil disobedience.  He was also awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1964.

More bio info at:,_Jr.

"The Dream" 2009 acrylic & inkjet print by Andrew Polk, in Joel D. Valdez main library (photo credit Carolyn Classen)
“The Dream” – 2009 acrylic & inkjet print by Andrew Polk, in Joel D. Valdez  Main library in Tucson (photo credit Carolyn Classen)

Tomorrow there are a number of activities to celebrate his legacy, starting at 8 a.m. with a renaming of Nobel Way at the UA Tech Park for Dr. MLK, then a march to Reid Park for the annual MLK celebration (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.).  There is also a Black Lives Matter rally at 9:30 a.m. also at Reid Park. (UPDATE -this rally has been cancelled).

In the afternoon at 3 p.m. there will be the annual Freedom Song Sing a long at Temple Emanu-El, and later that evening at the Loft Theater at 7:30 p.m., a free film “Soundtrack for a Revolution”.


More information about these events on our Calendar: (where there are lots of other progressive events to attend).

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Carolyn Classen
Carolyn Sugiyama Classen, a life long Democrat, was born & raised in the State of Hawaii, was a Legislative Aide for U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye on Capitol Hill, and practiced law for a while. In Tucson she worked as a tribal staff attorney for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe and later was the Interim Executive Director of the now defunct Domestic Violence Commission. In 2008 she became a “My Tucson” guest columnist for the Tucson Citizen newspaper, then continued blogging for for over four and a half years. Her blogsite was entitled “Carolyn’s Community” about community events and some political news, until Gannett Publishing shut down the site on January 31, 2014. She started with Blog for Arizona on Feb. 11, 2014. Part time she has been sitting as a Hearing Officer in Pima County Consolidated Justice Courts Small Claims Division since April, 2005. She is married to University of Arizona Distinguished Professor Albrecht Classen, a native of Germany. They have one son, who lives in Seattle, WA with his wife and daughter. She is also the Editor of the Southern Arizona Japanese Cultural Coalition website, (since Jan. 2013).


  1. 100′s of people at the rally at Reid Park (ongoing till 3 p.m. today), with a tape of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech on August 28, 1963 followed by various speeches & then music. Debra Embry (Tucson Urban League Pres.) said that “police are killing our black young men” and urged the fight against institutional racism and incarceration of Blacks & Hispanics; Congresswoman Martha McSally of CD 2 spoke of Dr. King’s legacy, that one man did make a difference, hopes to stop the “divisions” in D.C. She said that the renaming of MLK Way is the 731st one in America. Distrct 5 Pima County Supervisor Richard Elias also spoke against racial killings and need for higher paying jobs.
    Also present today: LD 10 State Senator Steve Farley, LD 2 State Senator Andrea Dalessandro, Cam Juarez & Kristel Foster (TUSD School Bd.), Justice of the Peace (P4) Carmen Dolny, former House Rep. Tom Prezelski, and a lot of Bernie supporters.

    • Yes, Go Orange it was encouraging to see so many young people at today’s celebration at Reid Park. Several of the speakers spoke of Dr. King’s legacy, and less people are now alive when he was assassinated in 1968. Tucson has now joined 730 other cities with a MLK street/road/way/avenue.

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