A retired minister who participated in a civil rights march in Montgomery, Ala., in 1965 will be the guest speaker at Monday's Celebration of Unity in Lodi.
Rev. Bob Olmstead will speak about meeting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., in 1960 and how King inspired him to work on civil rights issues during the Breakthrough Project's celebration.
The event will begin at noon in the First United Methodist Church Fellowship Room, 200 W. Oak St. at Church Street, Lodi. It is free and open to the community.
Olmstead will talk about his experiences as a Caucasian participant in a predominately African-American march in Montgomery, Ala., in 1965.
He has been a minister in Oakland, Windsor, Santa Rosa and Reno, Nev. He was senior pastor of First United Methodist Church of Palo Alto from 1993 until he retired in 2003, and a parish associate in Placerville.
In addition to his civil rights activities, Olmstead chaired the first home hospice board of directors in Sonoma County and helped develop a homeless shelter in Reno.
Emceed by Lodi attorney and active Breakthrough Project member Randy Rosá, Monday's Martin Luther King Day celebration will feature entertainment by the McNair High School choir and the reading of two winning student essays by fifth-grader Albert Lehman Jr., of Vinewood Elementary School and sixth-grader Matthew Hashimoto, also from Vinewood.
Bullying and how words can be used to harm or heal is the essay topic in the Art Raab Memorial Essay Competition.
Other fifth-grade winners: Niya Gaines of Oakwood Elementary School, second place; Zachary Paustenbach of Vinewood, third; Matthew Nickel of Reese, Clarissa Ramirez of Houston, Blake Pastor of Reese, Payton Sandoval of Larson, Jade Simien of Mosher, Sarah Chui of Mosher and Avery Prewitt of Live Oak.
Other sixth-grade winners: Paige Mattei of Joe Serna Jr., Charter School, second; Audrey Sharp of Larson, third; Sarah Gonzalez of Reese, Eric Colbert of Reese, Kalla Matt of Borchardt, Destiny Farley of Julia Morgan, Arun Chumber of Larson, Lilyanne Nieto of John Muir and Jon Marquardt of Larson.
Contact reporter Ross Farrow at firstname.lastname@example.org.