Yakima Rotary Club honored local African American heroes

Yakima Rotary Club honored local African American hero's

YAKIMA, Wash.- Nine years ago, future Rotary Club President Eric Silvers decided the club should highlight local leaders for African American History Month.

Many were recognized Thursday for their hard work and continued leadership within the Yakima community. One being a man who marched with Martin Luther King Jr. in the 1960's.

"Immediately when I met him, I attached to what he was doing in Atlanta Georgia. I've been inspired ever since to try and live my life on the principles that he taught," said Rev. Robert Trimble.

He was also a catalyst for a Yakima street being named Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard back in 2006, and says moments like these are what keep him going.

"My dreams and my ideas are not over yet. I'm just inspired by what has happened to me today," said Trimble.

A pioneer educator and the first African American teacher at the Yakima School District was also honored, and says getting there was a long and difficult journey.

"I had to knock on doors to get a chance, to pursue my education. I felt very honored to be recognized for the years of hard labor," said Mrs. Loddie Bryant.

Silvers says the idea stemmed from him wanting the community to see and meet our black leaders, and bring in more diversity.

"It used to be 16 percent, and now it's down to one percent. So what it is, is a lack of opportunities. We need to let them know that Yakima is vibrant and we want more African Americans in the community," said Silvers.

Upcoming Black History Month Events (all activities are free):

  • February 17 - The "Dreamers" Peace Walk starting at 12:00 p.m. at Central Lutheran Church.
  • February 22 - "Justice" Film will be playing at 6 p.m. at Henry Beauchamp Community Center.
  • February 23 - Old School Social at 7 p.m. at Henry Beauchamp Community Center.
  • February 26 - Youth Day at 3 p.m. at Henry Beauchamp Community Center.
  • February 27 - Black History Program at Yakima Valley College from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • African American art exhibit will be up through March 1st at the Yakima Valley Museum.

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