On the day lawmakers gathered to recognize Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. members of the Kent-based Institute for Community Leadership visited the Capitol campus and addressed the Senate's education committee.
The Institute for Community Leadership works with its members to become involved in their community and make positive changes. The group focuses on diversity, civic engagement – especially in schools – as well as service-oriented projects.
In addition to joining the Senate for its recognition of King, guests from the institute visited and testified before the Senate Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee.
"Dr. King taught us that education is the key to democracy. We need to have an education system that prepares students for lifelong learning," said Mayra Perez, a junior from Kentlake High School, who addressed the education committee. "If Dr. King were to walk into a high school today, he would be exposed to a diverse population and a wide range of knowledge."
Sen. Joe Fain (R-Auburn), who hosted the group, also sponsored a resolution that "recognized the courageous leadership and legacy of hope demonstrated by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr."
"Having members of our community – from the Institute for Community Leadership – on hand to celebrate demonstrates the real-world progress and hope that stem from the incredible example set forth by Dr. King," Fain said. "The opportunity to formally recognize Dr. King was humbling; I'm glad we were able to gather to highlight the values of equality and respect."