Bainbridge welcomes MLK Center employee

Appreciative of the two King Center banners they received to share at events to honor the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Black History Month, Bainbridge residents greeted a woman who works at the Atlanta national historic site and her son recently when they visited the Puget Sound area.

Juanita Robinson, the gift shop manager at The King Center, came to the area because her 25-year-old son Thomas was participating in the U.S. Track & Field Club Nationals in Tacoma July 11-12. Thomas competed for the Atlanta Track Club and finished eighth in the 100-meter dash with a finals time of 11.43 seconds.

The 8-foot-tall King Center banners were also shared at the Navy Undersea Engineering Museum at Keyport, Kitsap County Fairground President’s Hall, Olympic College in Bremerton and the Washington state African-American awards program at Bremerton High. On Bainbridge Island, the banners were displayed at Bethany Lutheran Church, Ordway Elementary School and at the Filipino-American Community Hall for the 15th annual community celebration Kitsap Sing Out! in January.

The Robinsons visited Chief Seattle’s gravesite, St. Peters Mission Church, Ol’ Man House Park in Suquamish, as well as the Suquamish Veterans Memorial, Suquamish Museum and House of the Awakened Culture. They also toured the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial.

The Suquamish Tribe at the Clearwater Resort co-hosted the visitors. Upon the Robinsons return to Georgia, they were given books and publications for The King Center Library by the Suquamish Museum, Bainbridge Island Historical Museum, Kitsap Black History Museum, Bainbridge Island Japanese-American community, Bainbridge Island School District, Experience Music Project Museum and Sing Out Kitsap!

Robinson said she was “overjoyed and ever so grateful” to visit the Bainbridge and Suquamish communities.

Contributed photo / Daniel Cristofferson Welcoming the Robinson's were, from left to right, Patricia Moncure-Thomas, president of the Black Historical Society and Museum of Kitsap County; Dian O'Brien, past president, Bainbridge Island Senior Community Center and MLK Jr. Memorial Sing Out Kitsap Steering Committee; Gerald Elfendahl, Bainbridge Island historian and wife Judie Elfendahl, both Sing Out Kitsap participants; Juanita Robinson, gift shop manager at The King Center; Carolann Barrows, singer/songwriter and Bainbridge Island community advocate; the Rev. Senji Kanaeda, Nipponzan Myohoji Buddhist Temple; Rodrigo "Rudy" Rimando, past president, Filipino-American Community of Bainbridge Island and Sing Out Kitsap!; Karen Vargas, Bainbridge community advocate, Bremerton’s Embassy Center and Sing Out Kitsap!; Thomas Robinson, Atlanta Track Club; and Pat Baillargeon, former secretary to Eleanor Roosevelt.
Contributed photo / Daniel Cristofferson
Welcoming the Robinsons were, from left to right, Patricia Moncure-Thomas, president of the Black Historical Society and Museum of Kitsap County; Dian O’Brien, past president, Bainbridge Island Senior Community Center and MLK Jr. Memorial Sing Out Kitsap! steering committee; Gerald Elfendahl, Bainbridge Island historian and wife Judie Elfendahl, both Sing Out Kitsap! participants; Juanita Robinson, gift shop manager at The King Center; Carolann Barrows, singer/songwriter and Bainbridge Island community advocate; the Rev. Senji Kanaeda of Bainbridge’s Nipponzan Myohoji Buddhist Temple; Rodrigo “Rudy” Rimando, past president, Filipino-American Community of Bainbridge Island and Sing Out Kitsap!; Karen Vargas, Bainbridge community advocate, Bremerton’s Embassy Center and Sing Out Kitsap!; Thomas Robinson, Atlanta Track Club; and Pat Baillargeon, former secretary to Eleanor Roosevelt.
Bainbridge Islander, Community, History

About Ethan Fowler

Ethan Fowler has more than 20 years of journalism experience with 19 years of daily and weekly newspaper experience covering news, features and sports, as well as being an editor for 14 of those years. He has won several writing awards over the years in Washington state, Virginia, Texas and Georgia, including award-winning investigative journalism. Fowler was paid by the Review & Herald Publishing Association in 2009 to co-author a book, "Brushed Back: The Story of Trevor Bullock," with his wife. The book details the real life of a top minor league pitcher in the Philadelphia Phillies organization and his Christian faith. "Brushed Back" has sold more than 2,000 copies since its release.