Salute to a King
Thousands set to honor MLK legacy
By Kalin Thomas Contributing Writer | 1/18/2013, 1:25 p.m.
ATLANTA – Thousands of metro Atlantans will join prayer services, commemorative events and community service projects this week to mark the 84th birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., which is officially celebrated on Monday.
Speaking at launch ceremonies last week, King Center CEO Elder Bernice King called for a period of healing and harmony in light of the difficult year America’s had with unemployment, natural disasters, military conflicts and tragic mass shootings.
“Now is the time for nonviolence! We’re calling on everyone who believes in my father’s dream to help make 2013 a year of healing and reconciliation,” said King, who also is working on a gun buy-back program with the Radio One network.
The recent launch of the 10-day King Day events included a kick-off reception and the unveiling of the riveting exhibit, “100 Days of Nonviolence: The Birmingham Campaign,” a look at the civil rights struggles and victories in Birmingham in 1963.
“My goal is to raise $700,000,” King said. “And this year I’m excited about presenting the inaugural Coretta Scott King Angel Award.”
“And at the commemoration service it will be the first time we’ll have someone from the Latino community to deliver the main address,” said King of the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference.
Since the King holiday falls on the same day as President Barack Obama’s inauguration this year, The King Center will host an inaugural party at Ebenezer after the commemoration service.
And what would King say to President Obama if he were alive today?
“He probably would encourage him to always do what’s right and just, and to follow his conscience,” said King.
During the National Day of Service, The King Center is conducting an interactive social media campaign asking people to tweet what volunteer work they’re doing, using #KingsDream and #IamFreedom.
All of The King Center events are free to the public except for the Salute to Greatness Dinner, its annual fundraiser.
If you’re looking for a way to honor King, check out this selected list of events in and around metro Atlanta.
Friday, Jan. 18/10 a.m.
Naturalization Ceremony – U.S. Immigration Services
The King Center, Freedom Hall Auditorium
404-526-8900 or www.TheKingCenter.org.
Friday, Jan. 18/8-10:30 a.m.
10th Annual King Holiday Human Rights Prayer Breakfast
Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel
404-525-3559 or www.marchaaar.org.
Saturday, Jan. 19/9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
MLK Youth Conference
Saturday, Jan. 19/11 a.m.
“Children of the Movement: 50 Years after the “I Have a Dream”
speech and the March on Washington
Ebenezer Baptist Church, Heritage Sanctuary
Saturday, Jan. 19/3-8 p.m.
“Day Dream:” The MLK Weekend Day Party (hosted by Atlanta Greeks)
Saturday, Jan.19/2:30 p.m.
The DREAM 50 Art Contest Awards Ceremony
Morehouse College, Martin Luther King, Jr. International Chapel
Saturday, Jan. 19/5:30 p.m.
Annual “Salute to Greatness” Awards Dinner
Hyatt Regency Hotel
Sunday, Jan. 20/10 a.m.
MLK Worship Service
Spelman College, Sisters Chapel
Sunday, Jan. 20/3-5 p.m.
The King Center Book Signing (King family authors)