The Coast News Group
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Oceanside hosts civil rights panel

OCEANSIDE — This year, “One Book, One San Diego” chose “March: Book One,” a graphic memoir about the Civil Rights Movement by U.S. Rep. John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell. In keeping with this historic selection, an Oceanside Public Library panel discussion will highlight the significant themes of the book. The free, public event will be held at 3 p.m. Nov. 10 in the Civic Center Library Community Rooms, 330 N. Coast Highway.

The panelists are all locally active in civil rights work and will include: Reginald Owens, a decorated, retired Marine Sgt. Major and Palomar Community College professor, who has repeatedly served as president of North San Diego County Chapter of NAACP; Janet Bledsoe Lacy, a partner in an Oceanside law firm, who has led major fundraising for Oceanside’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship Program; Max Disposti, local human rights activist, and founder of the North County LGBTQ Resource Center; Janetha Bailey Long, a lifelong educator and board member of North County African American Women’s Association, who experienced firsthand the bus boycotts and the Selma to Montgomery March in the 60s, and Oceanside native Jimmy Figueroa.

Figueroa received his law degree from Thomas Jefferson School of Law, served as a clerk for the San Diego County public defender’s office and is currently the program manager for the Resilience Community Mentoring Program, helping lead youth and educational support efforts.

Panelists Owens, Bledsoe Lacy and Disposti are all recipients of Oceanside’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Civic Award.

In addition to discussing their own experience, the panelists will explore the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the current state of civil rights in the United States. Time will be allowed for questions from the audience. Moderating the discussion will be MiraCosta College professor Bruce Hoskins, whose Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Southern California emphasized race and ethnic relations and multiracial identity formation.

For more information about library services and programs, visit or call (760) 435-5600.