THE KING CENTER LEADS THE NATION AND WORLD IN COMMEMORATING THE
50th ANNIVERSARIES OF DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.’S ASSASSINATION AND
THE FOUNDING OF THE KING CENTER
THEME FOR 2018 COMMEMORATIONS:
MLK50 FORWARD: TOGETHER WE WIN WITH LOVE FOR HUMANITY
ATLANTA- April 17, 2017. The King Center leads the nation and world in the global commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination and the commemoration of 50th anniversary of The King Center’s founding. Key organizations across the world, including the National Civil Rights Museum, are joining with The King Center to facilitate a year of ‘edutainment’ and empowerment designed to engage youth, students, families, faith communities, marketplace leaders and others in remembering Dr. King’s assassination. Dr. King was assassinated on April 4, 1968 at Memphis’ Lorraine Motel, which is now the home of the National Civil Rights Museum.
With MLK50 Forward: Together We Win with Love for Humanity as the global theme, The King Center will host a broad spectrum of events and initiatives in global commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination (April 4, 1968) and in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of The King Center’s founding (June 26, 1968). The Center’s intergenerational, interactive engagement with the international community will be closely aligned with the Center’s mission to prepare global citizens to create a more just, humane and peaceful world using Dr. King’s nonviolent philosophy and methodology, which the Center calls Nonviolence 365™ or NV365™.
The Center will serve as the communication and planning hub for programs and initiatives. Organizations and individuals, across what Dr. King described as the “world house,” who are interested in providing volunteer or monetary support, and/or who wish to engage their local communities in the 2018 50th anniversary commemorations, should visit MLK50Forward.org. Toolkits will be provided to guide organizations and communities around the world in recognizing the assassination.
“Two weeks ago, we commemorated the 50th anniversary of my father’s prolific message, ‘Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence,’ and the 49th anniversary of his assassination with special programs focused on the responsibility of faith leaders in building the Beloved Community. Even as we remembered these 2017 anniversaries, we were planning for the 2018 occasions to honor my parents, lift humanity, and encourage the work of justice,” shares Dr. Bernice A. King, CEO of The King Center and youngest daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and King Center founder, Coretta Scott King.
Dr. Bernice A. King continues, “2018 will be a reflective, yet powerfully relevant, year for The King Center. It also promises to be momentous for those who join the Center in not only remembering my father’s death and celebrating my mother’s legacy as founder of the Center, but also unite with us in educating, equipping and empowering humanity to move forward. Both my parents deposited a wealth of wisdom, in the form of writings, speeches, and demonstration, on this earth. The 2018 50th anniversary commemorations will highlight what they deposited, while also inspiring and informing us about how to build the Beloved Community by cultivating what they left us.”
The global commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination will be held April 4-9, 2018. Events commemorating the 50th anniversary of the founding of The King Center will be held June 23-26, 2018. Among King Center signature experiences for the 50th anniversary commemorations will be a Beloved Community Global Expo and Leadership Summit; a special exhibit in honor of Coretta Scott King; a retracing of the April 9, 1968 processional from Ebenezer Baptist Church to Dr. King’s undergraduate alma mater, Morehouse College, that will culminate with a Call to Action; an interactive Nonviolence365™ technology experience for youth; Nonviolence365™ issue-oriented and arena-focused educational experiences for youth and adults; entertainment events that inspire a love ethic, peacemaking, global citizenry and building the Beloved Community; an Atlanta-Memphis experience as a component of the Center’s faith-based initiative, Better Together, which unites faith leaders and galvanizes them around racial reconciliation and community transformation. Other events and initiatives will be announced in the coming months.
In Memphis, Tennessee, where Dr. King was assassinated, the National Civil Rights Museum recently kicked off a year-long multi-cultural, multi-generational commemoration in honor of Dr. King’s life and legacy. Their focus, MLK50: Where Do We Go From Here?, will honor and reflect on the past, evaluate the present, and propose solutions for the future- all leading to the April 4th commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination at the Lorraine Motel, which is now a part of the Museum. Throughout the commemorative year, a special website, mlk50.civilrightsmuseum.org, will serve as the official portal for storytelling, engagement, a master calendar and updates on the MLK50 initiatives.
Also in Atlanta, Georgia, Judy Forte, Superintendent for the National Park Services, the Center’s national partner, shares a snapshot of what is in the works, “The Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site, in partnership with The King Center is in the process of finalizing plans to observe the 50th Anniversary of the Assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King. Jr. A special ceremony will be held on Monday, April 9, 2018, at Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church Heritage Sanctuary, to commemorate the day of Dr. King’s funeral and entombment. A photo exhibition of Dr. King’s assassination will be displayed in the DREAM Gallery. The exhibition will include the historic caisson used to carry his casket from Ebenezer Baptist Church to the Morehouse College campus. Throughout 2017 and 2108, we will provide dynamic youth engagement opportunities, and offer unique and special educational forums where the public can remember, experience and honor the life and legacy of Dr. King.”
Dr. Bernice A. King states, “As we move into the 21st century, it is incumbent upon us to realize that, while Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King were global, influential leaders who answered divine calls to fulfill great assignments, we, too, have assignments to complete. Together, we can, in our various roles and capacities, lovingly use our skills to build the Beloved Community and win for humanity. As my father stated, ‘Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.’ We invite you to ‘step toward the goal’ with us. Join us in sharing about and participating in the special 2018 50th Anniversary Commemorations and in embracing the spirit of our theme, MLK50 Forward: Together We Win with Love for Humanity.”
Additional partners in the commemoration include: Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, SCLC, The Martin Luther King, Jr. International Chapel at Morehouse College, and the State of Georgia Martin Luther King, Jr. Advisory Council. To learn more about opportunities for community leadership, sponsorship and volunteering, please visit www.mlk50forward.org. The site will be continually updated with more info on King Center signature events and with corresponding initiatives throughout the world. Please stay connected with via Facebook (The King Center), Twitter (@TheKingCenter), and Instagram (@thekingcenter), as announcements of events will be posted regularly.
About The King Center
The Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change (The King Center) is a 501(c)3 organization established in 1968 by Mrs. Coretta Scott King. The King Center is the official living memorial and programmatic nonprofit organization committed to educating the world on the life, legacy, and teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The King Center serves to inspire new generations to carry forward his unfinished work, strengthen causes and empower change-makers who are continuing his efforts today. The King Center’s premiere educational initiative, Nonviolence365™, is based on Dr. King’s nonviolent philosophy and engages participants from various sectors of society, including emerging and next generation leaders, in modules and exercises that enhance communication, leadership, interpersonal and conflict reconciliation skills. To learn more about The King Center and how you may get involved or participate in the Center’s NV365™ training, visit http://www.thekingcenter.org/.To support The King Center’s efforts through donations, please click here.
About National Park Services
For more information, visit www.nps.gov/malu and stay connected on Twitter (@MLKJrNHSNPS), Facebook (MartinLutherKingJrNPS), Instagram (martinlutherkingjrnps) and YouTube (@mlkjrnhsnps). Media Contact for National Park Services: Officer Rebecca Karcher-404 787-3377 Rebecca_karcher@nps.gov
The NATIONAL CIVIL RIGHTS MUSEUM, located at the historic Lorraine Motel where civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated, gives a comprehensive overview of the American Civil Rights Movement from 1619 to the present. Since the Museum opened in 1991, millions of visitors from around the world have come, including more than 80,000 students annually. Serving as the new public square, the Museum is steadfast in its mission to chronicle the American civil rights movement, examine today’s global civil and human rights issues, provoke thoughtful debate and serve as a catalyst for positive social change.
A Smithsonian Affiliate and an internationally acclaimed cultural institution, the Museum was recognized as TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Top 5% U.S. Museum, USA Today’s Top 10 Best American Iconic Attractions; Top 10 Best Historical Spots in the U.S. by TLC’s Family Travel; Must See by the Age of 15 by Budget Travel and Kids; Top 10, American Treasures by USA Today; and Best Memphis Attraction by The Commercial Appeal and the Memphis Business Journal.
Media Contact for National Civil rights Museum:
Faith Morris, Chief Marketing & External Affairs Officer, National Civil Rights Museum
901.527.1226 office 312.813.6965 cell firstname.lastname@example.org