By Shawnte Passmore

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – People are spending the holiday weekend reflecting on the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

More than 30 area churches held a celebration for the civil rights activist’s life while looking at how people can come together at a time when the pandemic has physically separated people. The event featured music, poem recitals and speakers.

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“I’m four generations removed from slavery,” said Pastor Samuel Gordon of Capital Christian Center. “My father, as a boy, picked cotton.”

The pastor has been chairman of the MLK, Jr. Life Celebration for over 27 years.

His passion for keeping Dr. King’s dream alive is his mission.

As Gordon reflects on the leader’s legacy, he says it means a lot to him personally. His life has been a manifestation of the civil rights movement.

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This year marks the first time the church has hosted the event in-person since 2019. It did offer a livestream for people wishing to stay home.

The Paschenkos say they came out Sunday to better understand racial injustices and biases.

“I wasn’t brought up that way,” said Kathy Paschenko. “So, when it all started coming at me. I thought we’re all God’s children. He loves us equally. And to see people divided is a distraction.”

The diversity of the attendance is a reflection of not only the church’s congregation but the Sacramento metro.

For performer Brian Sloan, it means the icon’s famous “I Have A Dream” speech remains relevant.

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“It means that his dream is being held. His dream is being held within our society,” he said.

Shawnte Passmore