Toppenish residents march in unity to celebrate MLK Day - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Toppenish residents march in unity to celebrate MLK Day

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TOPPENISH, WA - On Monday morning, many Toppenish residents braved the cold and gathered at the Yakima Valley Farm Worker's Clinic to march through town and celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy.

"We belong together and we should come together to address our social issues and problems in our communities," said participant Maria Benavides, "and this is a wonderful opportunity for all of us to join be united and celebrate." 

The march started at the Farm Worker's Clinic at 10:30 a.m. People walked a couple of blocks in unity and ended the march at the Toppenish Middle School gymnasium, where they were greeted with music. Many community leaders spoke at the event. Among them was keynote speaker Dr. Roberto Dansie, who spoke about the importance of school and unity.

"Martin Luther King, he identified the enemies," Dansie said. "He said there are three big enemies you have to watch for: abuse of power, prejudice, and poverty. If you look around, we have them still."

This is the seventh year of the march, and organizers say the turnout this year was less than previous years, but they also say that since they started the march seven years ago it hasn't been quite this cold.

Organizers hope that the celebration helped people come together and get inspiration to better themselves and their communities.