Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. through celebrating service, diversity and inclusion

MLK Day: Building a Dream Project drive-up event offering free resources to those in need on January 17, 2022. 

PASCO, Wash. — In honor of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, the Tri-Cities Diversity & Inclusion Council (TCD&IC) is partnering with the Hapo Community Credit Union2nd HarvestColumbia Basin College and Children’s Reading Foundation for the Mid-Columbia for Building a Dream Project.

The Building a Dream Project, is a drive-up distribution event at the CBC campus offering free food, grocery gift cards, children’s books, resources andBuilding A Dream Even Ful Thumbnail job resources on January 17, 2022, from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. to anyone in need. “We’re not checking for ID. We are not checking for citizenship status; we’re not checking for any of those things. If you need food, come out and get it,” said the Tri-Cities Diversity & Inclusion CEO Naima Chambers-Smith.

TCD&IC also encourages those in the community who need food, diapers, baby formula, hygiene products, and other essential items to attend the free event.

Building A Dream Event

  • January 17, 2022 at 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.
  • Columbia Basin College Campus in Pasco
  • 2600 N. 20th Ave. Pasco, WA 99301

“I feel like we were all put on this earth, we all have a responsibility to one another and I feel like that’s something Dr. King expressed. Our importance of serving one another, being a better community, bringing people together making sure that people have things they need to be successful.” -Naima Chambers-Smith, CEO, Tri-Cities Diversity & Inclusion Council

Chambers-Smith said another way to continue to carry on the values and the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to the next generation is to celebrate diversity through children’s literacy.

RELATED: Reading for the Future: Honoring Native American Heritage Month

“It’s an opportunity for youth again to see themselves in the stories that they read. It’s also important for kids that don’t have diverse backgrounds to see people that look different than them in a positive light. It’s an opportunity to highlight not only our similarities but our differences and helping kids to understand that is ok and that is beautiful and makes us who we are,” said Chambers-Smith.

According to Scholastic, early childhood experts said it’s important when introducing your children to different cultures and stories to “promote effective communication.” Experts said, effective communication includes listening to your children and responding with either additional questions to understand or answering their questions, so they know it’s ok to talk about differences. 

“Remember that children’s questions and comments are a way for them to gather information about aspects of their identity and usually do not stem from bias or prejudice,” said Dora Pulido-Tobiassen and Janet Gonzalez-Mena., two early childhood experts.

“Building positive identities and a respect for differences means weaving diversity into the fabric of children’s everyday lives.” – Scholastic, a leader in publishing and education for nearly 100 years.

Pulido-Tobiassen and Gonzalez-Mena said that if a child is nonverbally observing a different physical appearance, for example, a child with a different hairstyle or texture, you can say, “He has straight hair, and you have curly hair.”

The early childhood experts said you can continue to be a role model to your children by developing positive relationships with people who are different from you.


STORY TIME WITH NAIMA CHAMBERS-SMITH: Reading Change Sings By: Amanda Gorman