Aryana Noroozi

This Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the city of San Bernardino gathered at “Living the Dream,” a Martin Luther King Parade and Extravaganza sponsored by the Southern California Black Chamber of Commerce and hosted in West San Bernardino.  The event held space for the community to watch performances, hear from elected officials and explore vendor booths. 

Highlights of the day included a performance from the Grammy nominated group hailing from Rialto, J.J. Fad, and an inspiring  message to the community from newly elected Mayor Helen Tran. 

“[MLK] never led alone. He led with community. And that is what I will do as your newly elected mayor, show that we lead together and that we lead with truth, light, and unity, because we deserve it,” Tran said.

The San Bernardino PaceSetter Team drill team lines up to perform at the Martin Luther King Parade and Extravaganza at Arroyo Valley High School in San Bernardino on January 16, 2023. The event was hosted by The Southern California Black Chamber of Commerce and featured guest appearances by the region’s elected leaders, including Mayor Helen Tran and Senator Rosilicie Ochoa Bogh, and a performance by Rialto natives, J.J. Fad. (Aryana Noroozi, Black Voice News Newsroom/CatchLight Local).
The San Bernardino PaceSetter Team drill team begins their performance at the Martin Luther King Parade and Extravaganza on January 16, 2023. (Aryana Noroozi, Black Voice News Newsroom/CatchLight Local).
Rialto natives, J.J. Fad perform their hit song “Supersonic,” at the Martin Luther King Parade and Extravaganza on January 16, 2023. “Supersonic” reached #10 on Billboard Hot Dance/Club Play Songs and was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance in 1989, making J.J. Fad the first all-female rap group to be nominated for a Grammy award. (Aryana Noroozi, Black Voice News Newsroom/CatchLight Local).
The crowd cheers and dances to  J.J. Fad’s performance at the Martin Luther King Parade and Extravaganza on January 16, 2023. (Aryana Noroozi, Black Voice News Newsroom / CatchLight Local).
The crowd watches and sings along to J.J. Fad’s performance at the Martin Luther King Parade and Extravaganza on January 16, 2023. (Aryana Noroozi, Black Voice News Newsroom / CatchLight Local).
J.J. Fad members, Juana Burns “MC J.B.” and Dana Birks “Baby D” and former NWA member, producer and rapper, Arabian Prince pose for a portrait at the Martin Luther King Parade and Extravaganza on January 16, 2023. (Aryana Noroozi, Black Voice News Newsroom / CatchLight Local).

Elected officials join the celebration

Councilwoman of San Bernardino’s Sixth Ward, Kimberly Calvin thanks the public for their service at the Martin Luther King Parade and Extravaganza on January 16, 2023. “Raise your hand if you contribute to the City of San Bernardino in any capacity, because we are here to serve you and we thank you for all that you do,” Calvin said before introducing a group of elected officials including San Bernardino Mayor Tran . (Aryana Noroozi, Black Voice News Newsroom/CatchLight Local).
Newly elected Mayor of San Bernardino County, Helen Tran, addresses the crowd at the Martin Luther King Parade and Extravaganza in San Bernardino on January 16, 2023. Tran is the first Asian mayor of San Bernardino and the first Vietnamese mayor in the nation. “What really inspired me from Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was that he never led alone. He led with community,” Tran said. “As your mayor I will make sure we lead together.” (Aryana Noroozi, Black Voice News Newsroom /CatchLight Local).
Councilmember Damon Alexander speaks to the crowd at the Martin Luther r. King Parade and Extravaganza in San Bernardino on January 16, 2023. Alexander is the first Black council member in the seventh ward. “Unity requires action,” Alexander said. “So I need everyone here to work in unity.” (Aryana Noroozi, Black Voice News Newsroom/CatchLight Local).
Senator Rosilicie Ochoa Bogh (right), who represents the Inland Empire, thanks the Southern California Black Chamber of Commerce for hosting the event on January 16, 2023. Senator Ochoa Bogh presented award certificates to the Southern California Black Chamber of Commerce, Dr. Martin Luther King Junior’s parade committee and YouthBuild Inland Empire. (Aryana Noroozi, Black Voice News Newsroom/CatchLight Local).
Dr. Gwendolyn Dowdy-Rodgers, a newly elected member of the San Bernardino County School Board  speaks to the crowd at the Martin Luther King Parade and Extravaganza in San Bernardino on January 16, 2023. “[MLK] said togetherness, we have to learn how to live together, or together we will perish as fools,” Dr. Dowdy-Rodgers said, quoting MLK. “Today we have defied those odds. We are here together living as one.” (Aryana Noroozi, Black Voice News Newsroom /CatchLight Local).
Assemblymember of the 47th District, James Ramos speaks to the crowd at the Martin Luther King Parade and Extravaganza in San Bernardino on January 16, 2023. “Look at the diversity on  this stage. When I grew up, you wouldn’t see this diversity representing families,” said Ramos who grew up on San Manuel tribal lands. (Aryana Noroozi, Black Voice News Newsroom/CatchLight Local).

A community comes together in celebration

A Martin Luther King Jr. statue sits in the Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio booth at the Martin Luther King Parade and Extravaganza in San Bernardino on January 16, 2023. (Aryana Noroozi, Black Voice News Newsroom/CatchLight Local).
Ashley Dial and her daughter Imani Dial pose for a portrait at the Martin Luther King Parade and Extravaganza on January 16, 2023. (Aryana Noroozi, Black Voice News Newsroom/CatchLight Local).
Celebration-goers walk through the parking lot of Arroyo Valley High School where the Martin Luther King Parade and Extravaganza was held on January 16, 2023. (Aryana Noroozi, Black Voice News Newsroom/CatchLight Local).
Tia Woods performs a song she wrote during the pandemic about getting through difficult times at the Martin Luther King Parade and Extravaganza on January 16, 2023. (Aryana Noroozi, Black Voice News Newsroom/CatchLight Local).
Members of the San Bernardino PaceSetter drill team pose for a photo at the Martin Luther King Parade and Extravaganza on January 16, 2023. (Aryana Noroozi, Black Voice News Newsroom/ CatchLight Local).
Felicia Alexander, Brigitte Kilpatrick and children, Destinee Kilpatrick and Dexter Kilpatrick pose for a portrait at the Martin Luther King Parade and Extravaganza on January 16, 2023. (Aryana Noroozi, Black Voice News Newsroom/CatchLight Local).
Dexter Kilpatrick poses for a photo taken by his sister, Destinee Kilpatrick at the Martin Luther King Parade and Extravaganza on January 16, 2023. (Aryana Noroozi, Black Voice News Newsroom/CatchLight Local).
Liyah Belvins, who was named 2022-23 Miss Black Awareness in Fontana during the annual ceremony in December, poses for a portrait at the Martin Luther King Parade and Extravaganza on January 16, 2023. (Aryana Noroozi, Black Voice News Newsroom/CatchLight Local).

Aryana Noroozi

Black Voice News photojournalist Aryana Noroozi was born in San Diego, California and graduated with a master’s degree from The Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Her love for visual storytelling led her to document immigrant and deportee communities and those struggling with addiction. She was a 2020 Pulitzer Center Crisis Reporting Fellow and a GroundTruth Project Migration Fellow. She is currently a CatchLight/Report for America corps member employed by Black Voice News. You can learn more about her at aryananoroozi.com. You can email her at aryana@blackvoicenews.com.