Joining a crowd of more than 20,000 from throughout the region, hundreds of marchers left Grant High School in Del Paso Heights this morning for a trek that ended at 10 a.m. at the Capitol for Martin Luther King Day festivities.
"It's great for this community because it puts us on the map," said Phyllis Johnson, after the marchers left the high school after 8 a.m.
Allen Warren, the area's newly installed city councilman, joined the demonstration to honor King's legacy on civil rights and race relations. "We're making progress but there is still work to be done," he said. "The healing process lightens the burden for everyone."
As in previous years, Sacramento's 32nd annual March for the Dream began at 8:00 a.m. from three locations - Oak Park Community Center, Sacramento City College and Grant High School. An exposition with the theme "eliminating the achievement gap started at the Sacramento Convention Center at 10 a.m.
Among Monday's marchers from Grant High were Marie Townsend, 43, and her daughter Taylon, 11, who was being pushed in a wheelchair. One of Taylon's legs had to be amputated in the past year as she battles cancer.
"We could have stayed home today but my daughter really wanted to come," Townsend said.
"Normally I'm walking closer to the band but I wanted I wanted to be here today," Taylon said.
Elsewhere in the region, local groups will carry out volunteer projects for the MLK national day of service. Hands On Sacramento estimates 800 volunteers will work on its 15 area projects during the three-day weekend.
MLK Day, a federal holiday first observed in 1986, is held the third January of each year commemorating the birth of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.
TODAY'S MLK DAY EVENTS
10:30 a.m.- 5 p.m. - A celebration featuring regional choirs and a screening and discussion of the PBS documentary "Not in Our Town: Light in the Darkness" is at the Crocker Art Museum, 216 O St.
2 p.m. - Occupy Sacramento held an "Occupy the Dream" rally at in Cesar E. Chavez Plaza, with teach-ins, speeches and discussions on a variety of topics. Refreshments will also be available.