Members of the community celebrated the life and work of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. as they pledged to make their community a better place at the 27th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast fundraiser on Monday at the West High cafeteria.

The event is sponsored by the Black Student Unions from West, Tracy and Kimball high schools along with the Tracy African American Association.

The breakfast returned after a 2-year hiatus because of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.

Student and alumni speakers gave presentations on the importance of the Black Student Unions and the influence these groups have on campus and in their lives. West High sophomore Daniella Pierre delivering the keynote address.

This year’s breakfast featured the theme “It Starts With Me - Cultivating a Beloved Community Mindset.”

Guests at their tables worked together to create a pledge on how they would benefit the community and then read it to the crowd.

Organizers expected to raise $15,000, with a silent auction for gift baskets as a benefit for the BSU clubs, with the money helping to pay registration fees for youth leadership conferences in March 2023. Students attending the conferences receive tools, inspiration and motivation to make a difference in the community.

At the breakfast, Mayor Nancy Young announced the Pan African flag will be raised at Tracy City Hall on Feb. 1 during a special tribute to Evelyn Tolbert, the city’s first African American council member.

• Contact the Tracy Press at tpnews@tracypress.com or 835-3030.

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