South Bay pioneers honored at MLK breakfast

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SAN DIEGO – Jeffrey Harper-Harris and the late Dr. Richard Butcher will be honored Friday at the 32nd annual YMCA of San Diego County Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Human Dignity Award Breakfast in Mission Valley.

Harper-Harris is active in numerous community initiatives that assist San Diego youth. Butcher, who died in November, was a pioneer in providing healthcare to the mostly black residents in Southeast San Diego.

The two will be honored with the Jackie Robinson Family YMCA’s Human Dignity award, which is given annually to those who most exemplify the work and character of King.

“The YMCA celebrates a long connection with Dr. King’s life,” said Michael Brunker, executive director of the Jackie Robinson Family YMCA. “We’re always proud to bring this event to the greater San Diego community each year to celebrate Dr. King’s teachings and honor those who embody his work.”

The keynote speaker will be Dr. Robert K. Ross, president and CEO of The California Endowment, which champions the health needs of underserved patients.

Around 1,400 attendees are expected at the event. Registration begins at 6 a.m., and the program at 7 a.m., at the Town & Country Resort, 500 Hotel Circle N. The breakfast will kick off a series of events in San Diego to honor King, the slain civil rights leader.

On Saturday, a multi-cultural festival is scheduled beginning at 11 a.m. at Ruocco Park, across from Seaport Village. The 37th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Parade is set for Sunday at 2 p.m. on North Harbor Drive.

On Monday, the United African American Ministerial Action Council will host a breakfast at 7 a.m. at the Joe and Vi Jacobs Center on Euclid Avenue, while Alliance San Diego will host the 29th annual All People’s Celebration, at 10 a.m. at the Balboa Park Activity Center, 2145 Park Blvd.