ATLANTA, GA . . . The King Center and the National Park Service, in collaboration with Fulton County and other groups, will observe 'Days of Remembrance,' beginning April 4th, with a special wreath-laying ceremony on the front of historic Ebenezer Baptist Church at 4:30 p.m. The wreath will be placed at the same spot on the church where one was placed the day after Dr. King was assassinated in 1968.
The commemoration continues on April 4th with "The 50 Days of Nonviolence" campaign kick-off, which begins at 5:30 p.m. in front of The King Center, calling on youth to abstain from violence for the remainder of the school year (50 Days ends on the last day of school, May 23rd). King Center CEO, Bernice A. King, will address those gathered in front of The King Center at 7:01 p.m., the day, hour (EST) and minute of the assassination of Dr. King 45 years ago.
“We mark the 45th anniversary of the assassination of my father, Martin Luther King, Jr. with a challenge to young people to study, embrace and practice nonviolence,” said Ms. King. “As my father said, 'The choice is no longer between violence and nonviolence. It is either nonviolence or nonexistence,' and we believe young people have a leadership role to play in creating a nonviolent society.” Judy Forte, Superintendent of the MLK National Historic Site, said “The King Historic Site proudly joins The King Center in this wonderful project. Educating young people about Dr. King's teachings is an excellent way to honor his life and leadership.”
The '50 Days of Nonviolence' Kickoff event will feature various musical performances and speakers in addition to Ms. King. The “Big Station,” V-103, will do a live remote broadcast of the event, hosted by radio personalities Big Tigger and Greg Street. Recording artists, including Common, Ciara, Kelly Rowland, OMG Girlz, Big Boi and others are participating in social media campaigns to help rally young people to abstain from violence throughout the 50 Day Campaign.
“It's an honor to work with Bernice King on an event of this magnitude,” said Mr. Street. “Listening to Dr. King’s speeches over and over in ’89 and ’90 gave a lot of understanding of what the whole civil rights movement was about. It wasn't about them, it was about helping others.” Dr. James P. Griffin, Jr., convener of the Metro Atlanta Violence Prevention Partnership added, “On behalf of the MAVPP, we wholeheartedly support this challenge to the youth of greater Atlanta to lead our city to a more peaceful and productive future as part of the 21st Century Nonviolence Movement!”
On April 5, there will be a program at The King Center at 9:00 a.m., co-presented by The King Center and The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Program will engage approximately 70 college students from Emory, John Hopkins, Harvard, GA State, Univ. of North Carolina, Columbia, Univ. of Washington, Morehouse, Brown Univ. and the Univ. of GA and 70 local high and middle school students in discussions concerning violence and the relationship between public health factors that lead to violence in the community.
Other collaborators joining the '50 days of nonviolence' campaign include: the Music Education Group; V-103; Operation Hope; 1380AM; The Ryan Cameron Foundation; Big Kidz Foundation; Gidewon Foundation; Press Reset Entertainment; Show Me the Way Foundation; and, the Metro Atlanta Violence Prevention Partnership.
Students are encouraged to log on to the King Center Tumblr page at http://thekingcenter.tumblr.com/ for daily updates and personal messages. The conversation about nonviolence will also continue on twitter @KingCenterATL with the hashtag #50DAYSNONVIOLENCE.
For more information about the 50 Days of Nonviolence, please call The King Center at (404) 526-8900.
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