Medford community celebrates and honors Martin Luther King Jr.

The theme of this year's event was 'Finding Our Voices.'

Posted: Jan 19, 2020 6:30 PM
Updated: Jan 20, 2020 3:22 PM

MEDFORD, Ore. -- People are still thanking Martin Luther King Jr. for things he did decades ago. 

"He gave the ultimate sacrifice." said Gina DuQuenne, the keynote speaker at Medford's Martin Luther King Jr. celebration on Sunday.

"Made our people more comfortable to come outside as well," said Romello Hirama Tilavea, a recent graduate of North Medford High School. 

The theme of this year's event was 'Finding Our Voices.' DuQuenne used her family's history and her own to explain how she found her voice.

"To me I remember being a kid in the '60s, I remember the marches. I remember the things that my ancestors had to go through for me to get here. For me, where I'm from and where I aspire to go it's huge," said DuQuenne. "I've spoken in front of many crowds, thousands and thousands of people. Today is different because it's Dr. Martin Luther King celebration." 

"He kind of like had a movement going for people who are different-colored skin and we kind of fall in that category," said Tilavea. He was at the event early to help set up. He says Martin Luther King Jr. helped his family. He is a Pacific Islander. "For him to do that kind of made our voice heard as well."

DuQuenne says we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. every year so people learn about what he did. "It's very important that we never forget that." 

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