January 15 marks Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- On Friday, Fresno leaders and students came together to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with a garland ceremony.
It's one of several MLK events happening throughout the weekend and next week.
One by one, people placed a flower in front of Dr. King's statue.
"Dr. King said everyone can be great because everybody can serve," said Dr. Michele Cantwell-Copher, the Fresno County Superintendent of Schools.
For sixth grader E'niyah Fuller, this wasn't her first time performing at the ceremony.
She said she wasn't nervous because she loves sharing Dr. King's legacy with everyone.
Fuller is part of the King African American Dance Group.
"Peace is what we actually pray for," said Fuller. "We just love showing each other support and being kind to each other."
Some schools also performed poems or spoken word pieces.
Mona Tatum, a teacher with the dance group, said for the students to be involved in Friday's event is icing on the cake.
This year's ceremony is extra special.
It's been 40 years since the Rev. Dr. Martin L. King, Jr. Unity Committee began organizing the event.
"All officials, citizens, schools, we need to come together for the sake of Dr. King's name," said Tatum. "We need to keep his dream alive."
Especially when it comes to educating the next generation of leaders.
"Martin Luther King teaches kids to have a student voice, and it's important for us adults to listen to the students," said Tatum.
Rev. Dr. Robert Franklin, the President Emeritus of Morehouse College, said seeing the younger generation be involved in Dr. King's legacy gives him hope for a better future.
"You never know the talent and genius and potential in the young people you are working with," said Rev. Dr. Franklin. "We need his message more than ever before in a fragmented and violent world."
January 15 marks Dr. King's birthday.