On January 12, community leaders joined City and Library officials at Kitsap Regional Library in downtown Bremerton to officially change the name of the branch to Bremerton - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
"Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. brought people together from all different walks of life," Bremerton Mayor Greg Wheeler told a celebratory crowd that Friday evening. "His message of unconditional love and forgiveness continues to inspire and lift up others."
Twenty-five years ago, the City of Bremerton, with the support of Kitsap Regional Library, named the historic downtown Bremerton building after Dr. King. Formally renaming the branch now was an opportunity to recognize this anniversary and acknowledge a legacy that continues to inspire and shape our region.
Several leaders spoke during the renaming celebration, including NAACP Bremerton Unit President Robert Harris, Kitsap History Museum Board Trustee Roosevelt Smith, and Kitsap Equity Race and Engagement Coalition Founder Akuyea Karen Vargas. These scholars and experts in racial justice talked about the meaning of the moment and the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Kitsap County.
"It's truly a name that reflects the values and aspirations of our community," said Kitsap Regional Library Director Jason Driver. "By renaming this branch, we send a clear message that this space is for everyone, regardless of their background, regardless of their race, their creed, their sexual orientation ... it's all about a place where knowledge is accessible to all. Dr. King would have wanted that, and he envisioned that — a world where opportunity and justice were accessible to every individual. That's what a library is."