SEATTLE -- Thousands rallied and marched on Martin Luther King Jr. day, all in honor of his contributions to the American civil rights movement and his message of equality.
Barely a seat was empty inside the Garfield High School gymnasium on Monday.
“He is an example of who each of us is called to be,” said speaker Dr. Rev. Kelle Brown.
Community leaders and supporters shared King’s vision of a world where everyone had a right and responsibility to fight for equality.
Monday is the 37th year the Seattle MLK Jr. Organizing Coalition celebrated the life and dream of the man who was assassinated more than 50 years ago.
Hundreds of people who had packed that gymnasium and rally then joined hundreds more for the march. They started in the Central District, walked through Capitol Hill and made their way downtown.
“Today is MLK Jr. Day and we show how he was,” said 7-year-old Celia Charles Shaw.
Celia marched with her mother, who said the day was a teachable moment about unity and treating each other with respect.
“There’s all kinds of races and ethnicities here, that’s important,” said Katrice Shaw. “We need to show that common ground for each other, we don’t always see it especially on the news.”
Shouting slogans and carrying signs, marchers reminded everyone the battle against racism and bigotry only ends when all men and women are treated equal.
“I've been many places, honestly, where I’ve been called the n-word,” said marcher Sherryl McCray. “It doesn’t matter where you go there are going to be people who dislike you for your color.”