CBC honors first black Kennewick firefighter at MLK ceremony

Kennewick's first black firefighter in history is again inspiring others in the Tri-Cities Monday afternoon at Columbia Basin College (CBC).

Chief Vincent Beasley was honored at the CBC's annual MLK Bell-ringing ceremony Monday.

The ringing of the bells in front of the MLK statue at CBC is meant to pay tribute to the civil leader who cherished freedom, democracy, diversity and equal opportunity.

Every year, following the bell ceremony, the Martin Luther King Jr. Spirit Award goes to a person who creates positive social change in the community.

Spirit award recipient Vincent Beasley says being the first of anything is a great responsibility, but on a day honoring doctor king, it is also a privilege.

"It's not just about being African American because I want to inspire all. The tent of the skin does not determine the character of the person so I am honored to be here today," said Kennewick Fire Chief Vincent Beasley.

Beasley also graduated from CBC's firefighter apprenticeship program.

He continues to speak to many classrooms sharing his message of, not letting the tint of your skin be the barrier that stops you from your goal.

The first bell-ringing ceremony at CBC’s king statue was held in 1992.