By Special to the Daily World
The King Center has announced special plans for the 2012 national holiday commemorating the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The program began Saturday, Jan. 7, and continues through Jan. 16, the MLK holiday. All events, except where indicated otherwise, are free of charge.
One of the highlights of the annual program, the annual Salute to Greatness Awards Dinner will be held on Saturday, Jan. 14, at 6:30 p.m. at Atlanta’s Hyatt Regency Hotel Centennial Ballroom. The dinner, which is the Center’s major fundraising event, will honor Reid Hoffman, co-founder and executive chairman of LinkedIn and partner of Greylock Partners and Sheila C. Johnson, founder and CEO of Salamander Hotels and Resorts, vice chairman of Monumental Sports & Entertainment and president of the WNBA’s Washington Mystics.
King Center President and CEO Martin Luther King III said that, in addition to the awards presentations, “The King Center will unveil exciting new plans for a dramatic modernization of the Center’s Freedom Hall Complex site facilities, as well as innovative program initiatives.”
He will also discuss plans for creating state-of-the-art, interactive exhibits and a new curriculum development program to set the standard for nonviolence education and training, youth leadership development, advocacy and awareness. King said that the Center “is poised for a new era of unprecedented growth and development, both physically and programmatically, to make The King Center an even more inspiring place for learning and engagement.”
King, who has launched an ambitious five-year plan to reinvigorate and transform The King Center into a world-class institution, will also be reporting on The King Center’s recent accomplishments, including the launching of the Library Documentation Project, a partnership with JPMorgan Chase to digitize Dr. King’s papers, and a partnership with Syracuse University to digitize audio recordings and film and video of Dr. King’s speeches, sermons, interviews and leadership. The digital development of these unique audio-visual resources will be made available as a global educational resource for the first time via the internet.
One of The King Center’s highest honors, the Salute to Greatness Award is presented at the annual fundraising dinner to recognize excellence in leadership and a commitment to social responsibility.
Sheila Johnson is being honored for her pioneering business leadership as a founding partner of Black Entertainment Television, as