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30th Annual YMCA Event Remembers Martin Luther King Jr.

Attendees are shown at the YMCA of San Diego County's Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Human Dignity Award Breakfast on Jan. 16, 2015.
Matthew Bowler
Attendees are shown at the YMCA of San Diego County's Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Human Dignity Award Breakfast on Jan. 16, 2015.

Constance Carroll, the chancellor of the San Diego Community College District, was honored Friday morning at the 30th annual YMCA of San Diego County Martin Luther King Jr. Human Dignity Award Breakfast.

Carroll received the 2015 Human Dignity Award. The award recognizes people who make a difference in the community, according to the YMCA.

Carroll and district officials will take part in other events over the three-day weekend to honor King, including a parade Sunday afternoon in downtown San Diego. Carroll was a parade grand marshal last year.

"These events in Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s honor enable all of us to witness and to demonstrate our own commitment, individually and collectively, to the humane causes that were espoused by this great civil rights leader, preacher, and educator," Carroll said.

"Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was not just a hero of the African American civil rights movement — he was and is the hero of the broader movement to provide opportunity, dignity, equal rights, peace, and fulfillment for all people irrespective of their heritage, background, beliefs, or economic condition," Carroll said.

Martin Luther King Jr. is pictured at an integration rally in Montgomery, Ala., May 21, 1961.
Associated Press / Horace Cort
Martin Luther King Jr. is pictured at an integration rally in Montgomery, Ala., May 21, 1961.

Ben Kelso, president of San Diego Black Police Officers Association, said he tries to live up to the example King set.

“To build coalition and support to achieve diversity, and I’m here today to try and continue that same sort of work," Kelso said.

The YMCA breakfast also featured a conversation with two of San Diego's longtime civil rights leaders, the Rev. George Walker Smith and Leon Williams, and was moderated by John Warren of the San Diego Voice and Viewpoint newspaper.

Approximately 1,200 people attended the annual event.