More than 45 years after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. died, many argue that there is still much civil rights work to be done. Hundreds of Long Beach residents gathered at MLK Park on Saturday to honor the life and work of King and to acknowledge the work that still needs to be done.
In the video above, community members shared their reasons for celebrating and their reflections on social justice issues in Long Beach.
Alyson Bryant was raised in Long Beach and is a graduate of Long Beach Poly High. Alyson has learned and seen a lot since high school, witnessing first-hand gang violence and the effects it had on her friends and fellow classmates– from going to jail to being killed. As a result, she has a strong passion for at-risk youth and her community. She is a youth mentor for at the California Conference for Equality and Justice and focuses her work on Long Beach youth in schools and detention centers. Since high school, she has obtained a A.S. degree in criminal justice and is now working on her B.A. With the opportunity she has be given by VoiceWaves, she is able to tell story about Long Beach and the issues it faces and speak for the communities whose voices are often marginalized.