42nd Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Ceremony
Contra Costa County thanks everyone who attended the 42nd annual tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Tuesday, January 21, 2020.
The Supervisors recognized the 2020 Humanitarian of the Year, Tamisha Walker, co-founder and Executive Director of the Safe Return Project in Richmond, and Student Humanitarian of the Year, Christina Mazzi, a senior at Concord High School. The keynote speaker was Bisa French, Interim Police Chief for the City of Richmond.
The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Committee chose the theme of this year, "We Are in This Together," for 42nd annual ceremony and the honoring of the Student Humanitarian of the Year and Humanitarian of Year awards.
Dr. King’s memory has continued to inspire countless numbers of dreamers to dream. The committee encouraged the community to share their dreams for the future.
During our January 2020 event, Concord High School senior Christina Mazzi was named Student Humanitarian of the year. She thanked her community for helping her when she needed it.
Christina has given back to her community, both at school with mentoring and tutoring, and online where she founded the Woman of Color Project. She received the National Digital for Good award for the latter.
"In my 10 years working at Concord High School Christine is the first student that has left me speechless when I think of all that she has accomplished and how she is changing lives for women of color; I can honestly say that I have never worked with a more selfless teenager than Christine," said School Counselor Becky Heindlel.
Tamisha Walker is the recipient of the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors’ 2020 Humanitarian of the Year Award. She was chosen for her community organizing and advocacy for individuals reentering from the criminal justice system.
She is the co-founder and Executive Director of the Safe Return Project, a Richmond, CA based organization invested in securing the freedom of formerly incarcerated individuals.
Tamisha is a Rosenburg Foundations Leading Edge Fellow and serves on Contra Costa County’s Racial Justice Oversight Body, Juvenile Justice Coordinating Council, and the Contra Costa LEAD Antioch diversion initiative advisory committee.
Keynote Speaker, Bisa French, is the Interim Chief of Police for the City of Richmond. She is the first Chief of African American and Latina descent.
Chief French chose a career in law enforcement at 22 years of age to support her son as a single mother in spite of the male dominance in this field. She also faced the challenge of being both "black and blue" in her community.
Chief French worked hard to get where she is, yet never dreamed it possible. She has big dreams now and has used her influence to modify policies to improve policing in Richmond for the entire community.
We thank the students from the Contra Costa School of Performing Arts, a provider of distinguished professional performance skills in a college preparatory setting, enlivened the crowd with lyrical recitations of poems and dance. They finished to a standing ovation.
Soloist Linda Jackson sang gospel music in the final performance. As resident of Richmond, she has been active in her community. As an educator, she has challenged and motivated the minds of our students. She has been a gospel recording artist and performer for decades, exhilarating the spirits of her audiences with her music.