December 19, 2011

Martin Luther King III to headline Jan. 6 MLK Jr. Commemoration

Martin Luther King III will be the featured guest and keynote speaker for Johns Hopkins’ 30th annual Martin Luther King Jr. birthday remembrance, to be held at noon on Friday, Jan. 6, in Turner Auditorium on the East Baltimore campus.

The eldest son of the late civil rights leader and Coretta Scott King was the first keynote speaker in the series and returns for the milestone anniversary.

The event’s theme is “Peace, Love and Dignity: King’s Ultimate Challenge.”

Martin Luther King III, carrying the torch lit by both his parents, has dedicated himself to creating and implementing strategic nonviolent action to rid the world of social, political and economic injustice.

King has initiated several programs to support and nurture young people, including the King Summer Intern Program and A Call to Manhood, an annual event designed to unite young African-American males with positive adult role models.

In the 1980s, King was incarcerated for protesting against injustices in South Africa and for the release of freedom fighter Nelson Mandela. Throughout the 1990s, he addressed the moral and political dilemmas of Haiti, Nigeria, Australia and Sierra Leone.

In 1998, King began his tenure as president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Under his leadership, the organization convened hearings on police brutality and racial profiling in several states that led to the passage of anti–racial profiling resolutions. In 2003, he co-sponsored the 40th anniversary of the historic March on Washington with human rights organizations from across the country.

In 2006, King founded Realizing the Dream, an organization that focuses on economic development, youth leadership development and nonviolence education, training and technical assistance programs. The recipient of numerous awards and several honorary degrees, he is currently president and CEO of The Martin Luther King Jr. Center in Atlanta.

Begun in 1982, the Johns Hopkins Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration honors the Nobel Peace Prize winner’s legacy of nonviolent activism and community service. The list of past speakers includes Maya Angelou, Louis Gossett Jr., Harry Belafonte Jr., the Rev. Ralph Abernathy, James Earl Jones, Jesse Jackson, Danny Glover, Rosa Parks and Coretta Scott King.

The celebration will include the 21st annual Martin Luther King Jr. Community Service Awards ceremony, in which eight Johns Hopkins employees will be honored for demonstrating through community service the spirit of volunteerism and citizenship that characterized King’s life.

President Ronald J. Daniels; Edward D. Miller, dean of the School of Medicine and CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine; and Ronald R. Peterson, president of The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System, will give opening remarks.

A decision has not yet been made as to whether the event will be simulcast to additional East Baltimore venues and other campuses, as has been the practice in the past. For updates, go to www.insidehopkinsmedicine