ATLANTA– On February 22, 2018, Dr. Bernice A. King, CEO of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change (The King Center), announced plans that The Center will lead the nation and the world in the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of her father’s assassination. Dr. King stated, “This year we will commemorate the 50th anniversary of my father’s violent departure from us as well as the founding of The Center by my mother.”
“The King Center takes the lead honoring my father and mother with programs intentionally designed to introduce the world to the radical Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., mark the moment of my father’s assassination, reflect on the sacrifice of those in the movement for civil rights, and to learn about the vital role our founder, Mrs. Coretta Scott King, played as the architect of the King legacy.”
At the end of the commemorations and celebrations, we want the world to realize that The King Center serves as the official living memorial on the life, work and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. We want the world to see The King Center as the foremost authority on Dr. King’s philosophy and methodology of Nonviolence365® (NV365)– and it’s application. Working collaboratively, we will provide a blueprint for the next generation to lead humanity in a revolution of values.”
Most of The Center’s events are free and open to the general public. They begin on April 2nd in Memphis with the “Better Together” pastors initiative, tracing the last steps of Dr. King. This is part of a racial reconciliation program that The Center launched a year ago.
On April 4th The Center will award its highest honor, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Nonviolent Peace Prize. This year we honor two distinguished gentlemen. Mr. Benjamin Ferencz, Esq. for his courageous work as a prosecutor for the Nuremburg, Germany Nazi Leadership trials and Mr. Bryan Stevenson, Esq. for his fearless advocacy work in the legal field and his win the historic ruling making mandatory life-without-parole sentences for all children 17 or younger unconstitutional. The award will be followed by a reception and moderated dialogue with Attorneys Ferencz and Stevenson.
People can participate from wherever they are in the world, beyond Memphis or Atlanta. On April 4th we ask all institutions, organizations, churches, and even individuals to join The King Center and our partner, the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis in a sacred moment of remembrance by tolling the bells at 6:01pm CST (7:01pm EST, 5:01pm MTN, 4:01pm PST) 39 times marking the time Dr. King was taken from us as well as his age at the time of the assassination.
On April 5th – 7th, in honor of the 51th anniversary of the Beyond Vietnam speech, our Beloved Community Talks (BCT) has been expanded into a 3-day transformative learning experience and conference focused on the triple evils Dr. King spoke of: Racism, Poverty and War. This special edition of BCT will attract some of the top corporate, spiritual and activist leaders from around the world. Among the key notable speakers aredr. john powell, Director. of the Haas Institute for a Fair & Inclusive Society and Mrs. Marian Wright Edelman, Founder and President of the Children’s Defense Fund and Mr. George Lakey Peacemaker and Nonviolent Activist. This event is ticketed and requires registration. For more information please go to www.belovedcommunitytalks.org
From April 6th-7th a Global “Together We Win” Hackathon will take place. Youth from around the world will put their best tech skills to disrupt the cycle of poverty. On April 7th, King Centennials Speak event will highlight the innovative and extraordinary work of young people who live up to Dr. King’s belief that any person of any age can make a difference. Fourteen-year-old Hudson Yang, who plays Eddie on ABC’s hit television series “Fresh off the Boat,” will co-emcee the program. Confirmed participants include “Little Ice Cream Dude” Beau Shell, Hailey Fort of “Hailey’s Harvest”, and “Little Miss Flint,” Mari Copeny.
On April 9th, The King Center will lead the community in a March for Humanity which will serve as a global clarion call to the world of how Together we CAN win with Love for Humanity. The March, which begins at 12noon, will start in front of The Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church and end at Morehouse College. Following the March, there will be a Love for Humanity program and an “Inspirtainment” event to uplift and encourage the world to push the message of love and humanity forward.
In June, the King Center will celebrate its founding. Through an Impact presentation from 23rd-26,th people will learn about the unique impact of the Center locally and globally. The Beloved Community International Expo and Festival will take place on June 23rd – 24th.People will be able to travel around the world without leaving Atlanta. In collaboration with local Consul Generals and other key partners, The Expo will transform The King Center campus and adjacent streets into a world house where representatives from all 7 continents will provide educational and entertaining experiences reflecting their culture, religion, language, education, food and much more. June 25th- 26thThe Martin Luther King, Jr. Beloved Community Global Leadership Summit will take place and help bring leaders from the across the world to engage in dialogue about improving diplomatic relations and easing international tensions, promoting nonviolent social change and leadership development.
Ways people can join in honoring the life and legacy of Dr. King include: 1) Pledge to perform 50 acts of kindness or service, and share them via our website as well as social media by using the hashtags #MLK50Forward and #50ActsKindness. 2) In remembrance of Dr. King’s last speech, “Mountaintop” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ixfwGLxRJU8we invite individuals to share their “mountaintop moment” with us on our website at www.mlk50forward.orgas well as post on their social media pages with the hashtags #MLK50Forward and #mountaintopmoments.
“Our hope and prayer is that all people who want to honor my father and my mother will join us in remembering them in any one or all of these special moments. I believe my father would be proud if he saw us coming together winning for humanity!” stated Dr. Bernice A. King.
The King Center would like to thank its Sponsors:
- 50 Acts of Kindness or Service: Target Corporation, FedEx, Ford Motor Company
- Mountain Top Moments: A&E
- King Centennials Speak: Delta Air Lines
The King Center would like to thank its Partners:
- National Park Service
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Advisory Council
- MLK March Committee
- Ebenezer Baptist Church
- The Carter Center
- Points of Light
- Hands on Atlanta
- Habitat for Humanity
- Operation Hope-Global Dignity
- Samaritan’s FEET
- Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS)
- SCLC Women
- Martin Luther King, Sr. Collaborative
- Soul of Philanthropy
- Archdiocese of Atlanta office of Intercultural and Ethnic Diversity
- The Center for Civil and Human Rights
- Racial Equity Institute
- Volunteers of America
- Youth Service America
- Arkansas Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission
- Morehouse College
- Spelman College
- Clark Atlanta University
- City of Atlanta
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Collection
- Values Partnerships
For more details please log onto www.mlk50forward.org or www.thekingcenter.org. For sponsorship opportunities please contact Dr. Hilda Tompkins, firstname.lastname@example.org or Ms. Letty Ashworth, email@example.com. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.