top of page

Ventura County's 37th Annual


“In Darkness Be the Light Striving for Freedom



2023 Observance and Celebration

8:00 AM  "Freedom March"


From: Plaza Park, 5th Street and C Street, Oxnard, CA

To: Oxnard Performing Arts Center (OPAC)


Transportation provided from the Oxnard Performing Arts Center to Plaza Park beginning at 7:30 AM

Cost: Free

9:00 AM  Observance Program


“In Darkness Be the Light Striving for Freedom” 


Keynote Speaker: Lorrie Brown, City of Ventura Councilmember

Location: Oxnard Performing Arts Center (OPAC)

800 Hobson Way, Oxnard, CA 93030


$10 admission includes refreshments and vendor exhibits
Tickets may be purchased from MLK Committee members, at the door, or online.

Keynote Speaker
Longshot6 headshot (2).jpg

Lorrie Brown, MPAA
City of Ventura Councilmember

Lorrie Brown was elected to the Ventura City Council in 2018 and won by a landslide. She represented unprecedented leadership with a new and diverse voice as the first black person to ever be elected to council (male or female) since the city’s inception 150 years ago.

She is proud to have had the opportunity to serve under John R Hatcher III for two years with the Ventura County NAACP as Community Coordinator, to have led the African American Leadership Commission of Ventura County as Chair, and to have participated in the process of helping the Ventura County Juneteenth Celebration Committee establish its 501 (C)3 by conducting a series of Board Retreats as facilitator. She is an undeniable advocate and supporter of the civil rights movement and the voices of black people, as well as a 2022 recipient of California Lutheran’s Outstanding Alumni award.

She has been on council three years now and continues to prove that the fight for equity in this county includes the representation of women and people of color in policy. Her success proves that we can serve our communities by leaning in on shared values.

She was a part of the first female majority on council (2018-2020) and as an elected of the California Democratic Party Black caucus, she was also a member of the first all-female executive board (2019- 2021). Brown was elected to the Southern California Association of Government’s Regional Council and re-elected CDP District Assembly 37 Delegate (2016-2022).

Lorrie served as the Chair of the citywide General Plan Committee, the Economic Development Committee, the HOPES committee to support affordable housing and combat homelessness, the Southern California Association of Governments, the Finance Audit & Budget Committee and the Ventura Council of Governments.

Brown was integral in leading the initiative to adopt a Resolution Declaring Racism a Public Health Crisis and Denouncing Police Brutality, in collaboration with her colleagues who voted unanimously to pass this item.

She has observed the effects of systemic bias in policy and planning, which is why as a collaborator and legislator her goal has been to continue to seek consensus and agreement while raising the narrative against the status quo. She learned civil disobedience while volunteering with the NAACP and CAUSE.

Brown brought an Initiative forward this year called the Progress Initiative intended to engage the underserved, build trust among the disenfranchised and provide opportunities for and identified Communities of Concern, so they have the opportunity to share their voice in decision making bodies.

She received a Masters in Public Policy and graduated from Emerge, a nationwide organization that trains women to run for political office (2017-2018) and Gamaliel National Leadership Institute, that develops faith leaders to organize faith-based organizations. Lorrie raised her three young men, while putting herself through college, going into ministry and singing the gospel as the daughter of Matt and Bobbie Brown – an Airforce Vietnam Veteran and retired Registered Nurse.

Brown has remained a public servant for the County of Ventura during her term and maintains ownership of a writing, media and communications consultancy.


Yet the most of all of these things she is mother of three men, whom she did all of this tireless work for. She continues to fight in honor of her youngest son who is no longer with us.

2023 MLK Presenting Sponsors
Gold Coast Composite Logo 2020.png
ilwu_logo BLK 295C.png
bottom of page