Kingdom Day Parade: President García Celebrates Dr. King's Mission of Justice
California State University, Dominguez Hills President Mildred García was honored as the grand marshal of the 23rd annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Kingdom Day Parade on Jan. 21, in Los Angeles. García was joined by the CSU Dominguez Hills cheerleaders and the university mascot, the Toro. The parade was televised live on NBC Channel 4.
Actor Jermaine Williams served as celebrity grand marshal for the event, which is considered the largest Martin Luther King Day parade in the nation. Williams currently appears in the film “The Great Debaters,” with Denzel Washington.
Parade founder Larry Grant says he believes in selecting individuals who are making a difference in the community. Past grand marshals have run the gamut from local businesspeople to celebrities to senators, mayors and international leaders. He asked Dr. García to be this year’s grand marshal because of her status as the first Latina CSU president and the impact he believes she will have on the educational success of the region’s diverse population.
“Dr. García was chosen because, like Dr. King, she is breaking down barriers for women and minorities while continuously striving towards the best in education,” he said.
“I am truly honored to have been asked to be this year’s grand marshal,” said García, who in August 2007 became the first woman president of Cal State Dominguez Hills, in addition to being the first Latina president in the 23-campus CSU system. “At Cal State Dominguez Hills, we live Dr. King's legacy where no one ethnic group is in the majority. Dr. King was such an inspiration to me growing up that my career in education has been largely shaped by the ideals of social justice, racial unity and equality he so passionately promoted in his lifetime. To have the opportunity to represent a parade that pays homage to his legacy is a privilege.”
For a clip of President García at the Kingdom Day Parade, click here.
- Amy Bentley-Smith
Photo above: CSU Dominguez Hills is represented in the Kingdom Day Parade by the CSUDH cheerleaders and the university's mascot, the Toro. Photo by GK