Photo depicting a crowd of people carrying red MLK Jr. signs with the front row of people carrying a banner that reads "Seattle MLK Jr. Organizing Coalition."

PHOTO ESSAY: 40th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. March Demands Truth in Education NOW

by Susan Fried


Despite the omicron variant surge, hundreds of people, including lots of families and children, came out for the 40th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Rally and March on Jan. 17 at Garfield High School. This year’s theme was Truth in Education NOW. Many of the issues King was dealing with in his lifetime are still present today, including voting rights, workers’ rights, and income inequality, and those issues were touched on by several of the speakers and by the signs carried in the march.

The rally at Garfield included a variety of spoken word and vocal performances, including singers Alana Edwards, the duo of Alex and Alex, and Samara Jeffery who sang “A Change is Gonna Come.” Spoken word artist Saiyana Suzumura also performed.

Speakers included Isiah Anderson and Keisha Credit who both talked about equity in education. 

After the rally, the crowd headed to Seattle City Hall, stopping at the Judge Patricia H. Clark Children and Family Justice Center and the QFC on Broadway for brief rallies aiming to bring attention to juvenile justice and workers’ rights. At City Hall, another small rally took place featuring speeches by LaNesha DeBardelaben, president and CEO of the Northwest African American Museum (NAAM), and Anthony Washington, curriculum manager at the Academy for Creating Excellence (ACE), as well as spoken word performances by Will Rideout and Masai and a song performed by Isaiah Banks.

The event was planned by the Seattle Martin Luther King Jr. Organizing Coalition, an all-volunteer organization. If you are interested in helping organize next year’s event, visit the coalition’s website.

Photo depicting a white- and female-presenting individual pulling a red wagon with two youth holding a sign that reads "Black Lives Matter" in rainbow-colored text.
Georgia McQueen, 18 months, her brother Liam, 5, and their mom, Kristi, arrive at Garfield High School for the 40th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Rally and March. (Photo: Susan Fried)
Photo depicting a crowd in front of Garfield High School gathered to hear Keisha Credit speak at a podium.
Despite COVID-19, hundreds of masked people showed up on Jan. 17, 2022, at Garfield High School for the 40th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Rally and March. (Photo: Susan Fried)
Photo depicting Luna Harris sitting atop her father's shoulders while holding a protest sign that reads "Resist White Supremacy" high above her head.
Luna Harris, 5, and her dad, Jake, joined hundreds of people Jan. 17, 2022, for the 40th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Rally and March at Garfield High School. (Photo: Susan Fried)
Photo depicting Pastor Terrence Proctor speaking in front of a podium.
Pastor Terrence Proctor says a few words about his friend Willie Austin who was honored by the Seattle MLK Jr. Organizing Coalition for his work with young people. Although Austin passed away in 2013, the Austin Foundation continues to provide free fitness and nutrition education to young people in Seattle and King County. (Photo: Susan Fried)
Photo depicting Samara Reign singing into a microphone.
Samara Reign sings “A Change is Gonna Come,” Jan. 17, 2022, during the 40th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Rally at Garfield High School. (Photo: Susan Fried)
Photo depicting a crowd of marchers with the sign in the forefront reading "From Wardheer to Washington D.C., Black Lives Matter! --Martin Luther King Jr."
Hundreds of people participated in the 40th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Rally and March on Jan. 17, 2022. The marchers made their way from Garfield High School to City Hall, stopping in front of the Judge Patricia H. Clark Children and Family Justice Center and the QFC on Broadway to bring attention to juvenile justice and workers’ rights, emphasizing “jobs not jails.” (Photo: Susan Fried)
Photo depicting Alexis Mburu standing in front of the Judge Patricia H. Clark Children and Family Justice Center chanting into a megaphone.
Alexis Mburu, a Martin Luther King Jr. Coalition youth intern, leads the crowd in a chant outside the Judge Patricia H. Clark Children and Family Justice Center during the 40th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day March from Garfield High School to City Hall on Jan. 17, 2022. (Photo: Susan Fried)
Photo depicting Fai Mathews marching in colorful MLK Jr. attire and carrying MLK Jr. posters.
Fai Mathews (center) has marched in the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day March from Garfield High School for decades, and despite another year marred by COVID-19, she and a friend made it to this year’s event. (Photo: Susan Fried)
Photo depicting Shaude' Moore holding an infant in front of hanging orange text that reads "Black Lives Matter."
Seattle MLK Jr. Organizing Coalition Chair Shaude’ Moore holds a friend’s baby at the end of the 40th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day March from Garfield. This year’s march ended at Seattle City Hall. (Photo: Susan Fried)
Close-up photo depicting Will Rideout speaking into a microphone.
Spoken word artist Will Rideout performs outside Seattle City Hall, the end of the 40th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day March. (Photo: Susan Fried)
Photo depicting a crowd of marchers carrying protest signs. The sign in the forefront reads "Voting Rights Now."
Despite another year of COVID-19 altering the annual MLK Jr. event at Garfield, hundreds of people showed up on Jan. 17, 2022, to honor the life of King and show support for the causes that he fought for during his lifetime and that continue to be issues over 50 years later. (Photo: Susan Fried)
Photo depicting Anthony Washington speaking into a microphone.
Anthony Washington, curriculum manager at the Academy for Creating Excellence (ACE), speaks about inequities in education at Seattle City Hall, the end of the 40th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day March. (Photo: Susan Fried)
Photo from behind Keisha Credit speaking at a podium depicting a crowd of people listening to the individual speak.
Hundreds of people gathered outside Garfield High School for the 40th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Rally and March. This year’s theme was Truth in Education NOW, a response to the attack on the teaching of America’s history of racial discrimination by labeling it as “critical race theory.” (Photo: Susan Fried)
Photo depicting Keisha Credit wearing a bright-red Garfield High School hoodie speaking at a podium.
Highly successful business woman and Garfield High School graduate Keisha Credit spoke about inequities in education during the 40th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Rally on Jan. 17, 2022. (Photo: Susan Fried)
Photo depicting a crowd of individuals carrying red MLK Jr. signs that read "TRUTH IN EDUCATION NOW."
Hundreds of marchers hit the street to honor the late civil rights leader Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during the 40th Annual MLK Jr. Day March from Garfield High School on Jan. 17, 2022. (Photo: Susan Fried)
Photo depicting Isiah Anderson speaking into a microphone.
Isiah Anderson talks about engaging youth in the arts, in particular theater, during the 40th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Rally at Garfield High School on Jan. 17, 2022. (Photo: Susan Fried)
Photo depicting a crowd of people carrying red MLK Jr. signs with the front row of people carrying a banner that reads "Seattle MLK Jr. Organizing Coalition."
Hundreds of people participated in the 40th Annual MLK Jr. Day Rally and March on Jan. 17, 2022. The marchers made their way from Garfield High School to City Hall, stopping in front of the Judge Patricia H. Clark Children and Family Justice Center and the QFC on Broadway to bring attention to juvenile justice and workers’ rights, emphasizing “jobs not jails.” (Photo: Susan Fried)
Photo depicting Alexis Mburu at the front of a crowd carrying protest signs with a megaphone leading a chant.
Alexis Mburu, a Martin Luther King Jr. Coalition youth intern, leads the crowd in a chant during the 40th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day March from Garfield High School to City Hall on Jan. 17, 2022. (Photo: Susan Fried)
Photo depicting Bobby Alexander speaking at a podium.
Bobby Alexander, vice chair of the Seattle Martin Luther King Jr. Organizing Coalition, introduces a speaker at Seattle City Hall, the end of this year’s march from Garfield High School. Hundreds of people masked up and participated in this year’s MLK Jr. events. (Photo: Susan Fried)

Susan Fried is a 40-year veteran photographer. Her early career included weddings, portraits, and commercial work — plus, shes been The Skanner News’ Seattle photographer for 25 years. Her images have appeared in the University of Washingtons The Daily, The Seattle Globalist, Crosscut, and many more. She’s been an Emerald contributor since 2015. Follow her on Instagram @fried.susan.

📸 Featured Image: Hundreds of marchers hit the street to honor the late civil rights leader Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during the 40th Annual MLK Jr. Day March from Garfield High School on Jan. 17, 2022. (Photo: Susan Fried)

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