The community is gearing up for the Martin Luther King Jr. Unity March after a two-year hiatus

SPOKANE, Wash. — The COVID-19 pandemic has put a strain on many community events, including events commemorating the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Now that in-person events are returning, including Monday’s return of the MLK Jr. Unity March, community members have been busy preparing for and beginning to celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Sunday.

Hundreds of people gathered at Holy Temple Church, singing and worshiping together after a two-year hiatus, honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and sharing his message of unity and love for community.

The excitement of greeting each other and raising hands to the songs filled the air at Holy Temple Church on Sunday afternoon.

“In the days before and during the height of COVID, we were just like, ‘Okay, the holiday is here,'” Adele Whitehead said. “Now we get to today and this weekend. We have to come back and be together [and] re-introduce ourselves to each other physically, spiritually and emotionally.’

Young children also got a chance to learn about and celebrate MLK Jr.

“The best thing is that we can come together in person,” said Freda Gandy, director of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center. “After the Zoom meetings, not being able to meet together, it means a lot two years later.”

About one mile away, thousands of community members will gather in downtown Spokane on Monday morning, marching together from 10 a.m. to noon. After the march, the Community Center hosts a resource fair at the Spokane Convention Center for anyone in need.

“That’s what the march is about … getting people to remember what it’s about and bringing people together,” Whitehead said. “But still. there is work to be done.”

Gandy said the resource fair is primarily for educational purposes, but some organizations will have resources about their services. The medical district will also be available to provide flu shots.

RELATED: Martin Luther King Jr. Day events take place Monday in downtown Spokane

READ: Here’s what will be closed on MLK JR. A day in Spokane

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