The community is invited to take part in events in West Contra Costa on Jan. 21 and Jan. 24 celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights movement.
Pioneering African American television newswoman Belva Davis will be the special guest speaker when the Hercules Democratic Club hosts "Fulfilling His Dream: Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.," a free program from 9 a.m. to noon Jan. 21 in the auditorium at Hercules Middle School, 1900 Refugio Valley Road.
The event starts with a complimentary breakfast, followed by the program, which will include addresses by Davis and by Denise Noldon, the new president of Contra Costa College.
Performances will include song and spoken word, including singer Kristiana Sunga, the Hanna Ranch Children's Choir and St. Cornelius Choir, and speakers from the Hercules High School African American Student Union.
Local congregations will join for an interfaith prayer, and service groups from Hercules, including the American Cancer Society Relay for Life and the Hercules Library Foundation, will offer information about their organizations. Service groups interested in participating can contact Sarah Creeley at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Community groups are planning a "day of service, community, gardening and celebration of the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr." from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jan. 21 along the Richmond Greenway between Ohio and Chanslor avenues from Sixth to 16th Street.
The sixth annual MLK National Day of Service will feature 10 volunteer projects, community art projects, free food, a kids zone and two stages of live performances commemorating King.
Help rebuild garden beds on the greenway, plant spring gardens, take part in a mosaic or mural project, or help make signs pointing out local landmarks. Children can enjoy face painting, a petting zoo and other activities.
Free valet bike parking will be available from the group Rich City Rides.
The African-American Staff Association at Contra Costa College will hold its celebration, "Honoring Heroes of the Civil Rights Movement," from 6 to 8 p.m. Jan. 24 at the John & Jean Knox Center for the Performing Arts at the corner of Castro Road and El Portal Drive on the CCC campus.
The program features the Dimension Dance Theatre, the CCC Gospel Choir and children from the CCC Early Learning Center.
The contributions and lives of civil rights figures such as Fannie Lou Hamer, John Lewis, Daisy Bates, Thurgood Marshall, A. Phillip Randolph and Hosea Williams will be the subject of speeches by CCC students.
The event is free and open to the community. Details: Michele Jackson, 510-235-7800, ext. 4341.
The city's 24th annual celebration opens with a parade from the parking lot of the El Cerrito Department of Motor Vehicles at 9:30 a.m., followed by a free program and rally in the Performing Arts Center at El Cerrito High School, 540 Ashbury Ave., at 10:15 a.m. Details: Patricia Durham, 510-234-2518.
CRAB FEEDS: It wouldn't be a new year without crab feeds, the favorite fundraisers in West County.
The granddaddy of such events in these parts is the 48th annual all-you-can-eat feed at Salesian High School, so popular that two dinner events are held in the gymnasium at the school, 2851 Salesian Ave. This year's feasts are at 7 p.m. (cocktail hour) Jan. 18 and 6 p.m. (cocktail hour) Jan. 19. The second day will feature music and dancing following dinner.
Tickets are $40 each, and information is available at 510-234-4433, ext. 1126.
The evening starts with a 5:30 p.m. social hour with appetizers and cocktails.
Dinner will include fresh crab, pasta, baked beans, salad and bread.
There will also be a silent auction, and all proceeds will benefit the service club's community programs and projects.
Tickets are $40 each, available by calling Harry at 510-524-9839 or Valerie at 510-685-7844 or sending an email to email@example.com.
The crab feed, which includes a raffle, no-host bar and prizes, will be at 6 p.m. Jan. 26 at the El Cerrito Community Center, 7007 Moeser Lane. No outside alcohol or take-home food will be allowed.
Tickets are $40 each, available by contacting Cheryl Burnell at 510-364-0198 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The evening includes a raffle and silent and live auctions. For tickets or details, call 510-223-5253 or visit bgcelsobrante.org.