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King Center plans for 34th anniversary of holiday honoring civil rights hero

By The Final Call | Last updated: Jan 8, 2020 - 5:57:07 PM

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ATLANTA—Dr. Bernice A. King, CEO of The King Center, announced a schedule of public programs and events in celebration of the King Holiday observance. Beginning Friday, January 10 and continuing through Monday, January 20, The King Center will host its annual fundraiser, commemorative program, Nonviolence365® workshop and introductions, teach-in, youth experiences, award ceremonies, Beloved Community Talks, as well as a voter education and registration event, to commemorate the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on what would have been his 91st birthday.

The King Center in Atlanta, Ga.

This year’s theme, “King’s 2020 Vision—The Beloved Community: The Fierce Urgency of Now,” echoes Dr. King’s declaration from his book, “Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?” In it, he writes: “We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there is such a thing as being too late.”

This is a critical moment in history that requires our collective attention to the soul of this nation and to the moral fiber of the world, said Dr. Bernice A. King. “This year’s theme reflects the urgency with which we must be attentive and with which we must seize the opportunity to choose our existence, instead of our co-annihilation. In the midst of injustice and inhumanity, the hope of the Beloved Community remains. We can and we must build the Beloved Community, with nonviolence as our toolbox and love as our foundation.”

The King Holiday Observance activities begin with the two-day Nonviolence365® Workshop on January 10 and 11, 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., in the Screening Room at The King Center, 449 Auburn Ave, NE, Atlanta. Sessions include: Principles of Nonviolence, Steps of Nonviolence, Mobilizing & Organizing and lessons on disrupting bias and de-escalating conflict. Registration is required.

On January 14, 10:00 a.m.-12:45 p.m., in the Center’s Freedom Hall, The King Center will host Students with King. Public, private, charter and home schools from Atlanta’s nine metropolitan areas have been invited to attend and engage in dialogue with extended King family members and people who knew and/or worked with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King. Panelists will share personal stories about the lives of Dr. and Mrs. King and about their journeys to Nonviolence365®.

The formal Kick-Off Reception and Dream Forward Awards will be held on January 14 in Freedom Hall at The King Center. The event is free and open to the public but registration is requested. The reception begins in the atrium at 6:00 p.m., with the awards program commencing in the recently renovated Yolanda D. King Theatre for the Performing Arts at 6:45 p.m.

On January 16, 9:00 a.m.-1:30 p.m., The King Center will host Celebrate Difference: Students With King, at the Georgia World Congress Center – Building A. Celebrate Difference will provide middle school students of various ethnicities, cultures and economic backgrounds with an opportunity to engage in dialogue with Dr. Bernice A. King; to explore how Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. impacted the Civil Rights Movement; and to learn about Dr. King’s global influence with nonviolence.

The annual Salute to Greatness Awards Gala fundraiser will be on January 18, 7:00 p.m., at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta, 265 Peachtree Street, NE in Atlanta, Georgia.

Visitors to The King Center on the January 20 King Holiday will have the opportunity to participate in a Voter Education Interactive Demo and Voter Registration, 10:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m. Voter registration will be available onsite.

The King Center invites you to attend an Introduction to Nonviolence365 ®, January 20, 2:30 p.m.-4:00 p.m. Locations this year include Spelman College and The Promise Center (Westside). The introductions are free and open to the public, but registration is required.

The King Holiday Events conclude with The Beloved Community Talks: Let’s Bridge the Racial Divide, also to be held on January 20, 6:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m., at The King Center in The Yolanda D. King Theatre for the Performing Arts. The Talks are free and open to the public, but registration is encouraged.

For the full schedule of events during the King Holiday Observance, event details, tickets and sponsorships, visit