This year, the program includes celebrities Danny Glover and Quinton Aaron (The Blind Side). Music artists Ray J. Sahyba, Jeremy Rosado and Lele Parra will be performing. Parra’s record producer Prince Saheb will be in attendance to round off the celebration.
Why so many celebrities?
Rachel Parra, vice president of the local NAACP, is organizing the annual event. Rachel’s daughter, Lele Parra, a 14-year old singer, has recently signed a record contract with Trevino Records. Trevino Records is a distributor under Universal Records.
Since her singing career has taken off, Parra has traveled between Eugene and Los Angeles to record her album. Parra has recently appeared at the Latin Grammys and Nick Cannon’s “Family Day” event.
Because of her singing career and her mother’s connections as vice president of the Eugene area National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Parra has had the opportunity to appear with Cannon, where she met Quinton Aaron. Her meeting with Aaron began the chain of events to meet other celebrities.
Parra met Quinton Aaron at Cannon’s event. Parra has a personality that captures the hearts of many, including Aaron’s. Aaron asked Parra to tour with him for his foundation for obese and bullied children. Parra and her mother agreed to tour.
After accepting Aaron’s offer, a phone call followed shortly thereafter. Aaron’s representative called the Parra’s to inform them Danny Glover would also be attending the march.
Rachel recalls the conversation,
Next thing I know, I get a call from Aaron’s representative, saying ‘Hey, do you know Danny Glover? He’d like to come’
Other celebrities have shown interest in coming to Eugene as well. The list grew quickly.
Lele Parra’s producer, Prince Saheb, announced he wants to be a part of the program. Singer Sahyba, a Ray J’s Knockout Entertainment client, is also attending the celebration in Eugene. The news of Sahyba attending made its way back to the R&B singer, Ray J, who wanted to know why he hadn’t been invited. He is now in the group headed to Eugene.
The 11th season finalist of American Idol, Jeremy Rosado, has asked to perform the National Anthem at the march once word got out that everyone was attending. Parra states she would not turn down an offer from an American Idol.
The close connection they have all shared with the young singer Parra is what has drawn them all here. Events are taking place closer to their homes but they enjoy Parra’s exuberance and sweet personality.
Visiting Eugene will be a new venture for most of the celebrities, although Glover was once a Portland resident. Aaron has stated he is excited to come to the area and his tour does not cover the city of Eugene.
Parra hopes the celebrities will be an inspiration for those who attend the event.
The march is an annual event and has been going for at least 10 years in Eugene. Parra has organized the march for the last four or five years.
Security issues will keep celebrities from marching, however, they will be speaking at the event after the march.
The NAACP Annual MLK Jr. March and Program will begin on January 21, at 11 a.m. The march begins at Autzen Stadium and ends at The Shedd Institute. Admission to the Shedd event is free for those who participate in the march. The Shedd event begins at approximately 12:15 p.m., if the march is completed on time.
Those interested in more information can contact Rachel Parra at communications@NAACPlanecounty.org.