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The Unveiling of the King-Hahn Statue of Unity: A Symbol of Courage and Collaboration in Compton

Compton, California - The International Multi-Faith Coalition (IMFC) blog proudly presents an inspiring story of solidarity and historical remembrance from Compton, California. In a significant dedication ceremony held on March 27, 2024, the community witnessed the unveiling of the "King-Hahn Statue of Unity," a life-size monument commemorating a pivotal moment in the civil rights movement.

This statue immortalizes the iconic handshake between two influential figures: the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Los Angeles County Supervisor Kenneth Hahn. This handshake, captured in a photograph from Dr. King's 1961 visit to Los Angeles, symbolizes the unity and bipartisan support essential to progress in our society.


King Hahn Statue of Unity was created from this picture to symbolize what came out of a handshake of two great public servants.
King Hahn Statue of Unity was created from this picture to symbolize what came out of a handshake of two great public servants.

The dedication was led by current Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn and Bishop L. J. Guillory, Ombudsman General, who emphasized the importance of multicultural involvement and bipartisanship in all facets of life, particularly within government structures.


Supervisor Janice Hahn tells a story of when her father Supervisor Kenneth Hahn met with Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Supervisor Janice Hahn tells a story of when her father Supervisor Kenneth Hahn met with Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Supervisor Janice Hahn shared a personal narrative about the profound impact this meeting between her father, Kenneth Hahn, and Dr. King had on her life and career. "That meeting at the airport with my dad and Dr. King shaped my life more than any political lesson my father taught me," she said. "Dr. King changed the course of history, and I am proud to join Bishop L. J. Guillory in celebrating these two great men."


Bishop Guillory, who played a pivotal role in commissioning the statue, spoke about the enduring legacy of both Dr. King and Hon. Hahn. "This day is about coming together to overcome bigotry and hate," he stated. "It is about celebrating anti-racism and doing what is right—whether popular or not."


The event comes as the world grapples with issues of racism and inequality within governmental institutions. The “King-Hahn Statue of Unity” is a tribute to these two courageous leaders and a beacon for ongoing efforts to promote civil and human rights worldwide.


"That meeting at the airport with my dad and Dr. King shaped my life more than any political lesson my father taught me. qDr. King changed the course of history, and I am proud to join Bishop L. J. Guillory in celebrating these two great men."


Dr. King's visit to Los Angeles marked a critical juncture in the civil rights movement. In 1960, he was among the leaders organizing an NAACP rally at the Shrine Auditorium, leading a march of 6,000 protesters to demand a civil rights platform from the Democratic Party. That year, Ruby Bridges bravely integrated an elementary school in New Orleans under federal escort.


Yet amidst this social change and resistance backdrop, only Kenneth Hahn stood with Dr. King during his 1961 visit, showcasing a rare and commendable example of political courage.


The "King-Hahn Statue of Unity," now standing proudly at Compton Airport across from 901 West Alondra, captures this bravery in bronze for generations to witness.


Ombudsman International (www.OmbudsmanInternational.org) and other organizations continue to support peace initiatives around the globe. This monument is a testament to their commitment to fostering a world where unity and peace prevail over division and conflict.


The IMFC commends all those involved in this historic project and celebrates the message of unity that the King-Hahn Statue embodies. It may serve as a reminder that solidarity is the most powerful way to enact change and honor those who have paved the way for justice and equality.


Bishop L. J. Guillory, Ombudsman General who commissioned the making of the 'King Hahn Statue of Unity,' expressed the importance of bipartisan and multicultural involvement in every aspect of life including government.
Bishop L. J. Guillory, Ombudsman General who commissioned the making of the 'King Hahn Statue of Unity,' expressed the importance of bipartisan and multicultural involvement in every aspect of life including government.

For further information or inquiries:

Bishop L. J. Guillory

Archdiocese of North America - Unitarian Universalist Church

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