Martin Luther King, Jr. Day will be observed with a series of events in Santa Monica Friday through Monday, Jan. 13 through 16, commemorating the birthday of the slain civil rights icon.

The theme of this year’s events is “Peace Begins With Me,” celebrating diversity and promoting peace, brotherhood, social and economic justice.

The activities and events presented by the Martin Luther King, Jr. Westside Coalition will span throughout the weekend, leading up to and including the 2012 Martin Luther King National Holiday Celebration and Community Involvement Fair Jan. 16 at the SGI-USA World Culture Center Auditorium, 525 Wilshire Blvd. in Santa Monica.

The scheduled Santa Monica area events in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day include:

Friday, Jan. 13, from 7:30 to 9 a.m.: Westside Interfaith “MLK Prayer Breakfast,” presented in cooperation with the Westside Interfaith Council at the Calvary Baptist Church, Carter Center, 1502 20th St. The guest speaker will be Shakeel Syed, executive director of the Islamic Shura Council. The suggested donation is $25 per person, or $200 for a table of 10.

Friday, Jan. 13, from 7 to 9 p.m.: MLK Education Awards “Jazz and Blues Dinner Show,” featuring piano jazz with Ron Levy and Sharon Marie Cline (“The Divine Miss Cline”), plus blues singer Sista Jean and CB. At Upper West, 3321 W. Pico Blvd. Advance tickets are a $50 per person donation. Proceeds to be used for the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Westside Coalition’s Education Awards for Westside high school and community college students.

Friday, Jan. 13, from 10 p.m. to midnight: MLK Education Awards “R&B Dance Party,” featuring the Derek Bordeaux Group. At Upper West, 3321 W. Pico Blvd. Advance tickets are a $25 per person donation. Additional charge for food and beverages.

Saturday, Jan. 14, from 9 a.m. to noon: “MLK Kidz Party,” a kid-friendly introduction to the life and teachings of King, featuring live music for kids and face painting, art projects and origami at Virginia Avenue Park’s Kidz Zone, 2200 Virginia Ave. Admission is free and open to the public.

Saturday, Jan. 14, from 1 to 6 p.m.: MLK Westside Teen Unity “Peace In,” featuring “Dreams of King,” by actor Gerald C. Rivers; DJs and live teen bands; spoken word poets, art and more at the Talking Stick Coffee Lounge, 1411 Lincoln Blvd., Venice. Admission is free and open to the public.

Sunday, Jan. 15, at 3:30 p.m.: Santa Monica Symphony Orchestra’s Sixth Annual Commemorative “MLK Weekend Family Concert,” featuring Adam Del Monte, guitarist, and Allen Robert Gross, conductor. At the SGI-USA Auditorium, 525 Wilshire Blvd. Admission is free and open to the public.

Monday, Jan. 16, from 9 a.m. to noon: 27th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. National Holiday Celebration and Community Involvement Fair, a multi-ethnic interfaith program, with featured speaker, Rep. Janice Hahn (D-Venice). The event also features music and dance performances, education awards and presentations, inspirational readings and more at SGI-USA Auditorium. Admission is free and open to the public. The celebration is followed by a Community Involvement Fair, from 10:30 a.m. to noon, at 606 Wilshire Blvd. The fair will offer refreshments and informational displays by a variety of community organizations. Free and open to the public.

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