At two separate forums, Thursday, Bernice King, chief executive officer of The King Center called for “human dignity” for aspiring immigrants and “financial dignity” for disadvantaged people worldwide.

King joined Vice President Joe Biden, at the King Center for a naturalization ceremony for more than 100 immigrants to America. King urged the adoption of “humane immigration reform” that insures that all aspiring immigrants “are treated with respect and dignity, and have a path to citizenship.” King added that “naturalization is fundamentally about human dignity, which was also a central concern of the American Civil Rights Movement led by Martin Luther King, Jr.”

She said that “I have always felt that terms like “illegal aliens” and “illegals” are dehumanizing insults that are unworthy of a great and compassionate democracy. No human being is “illegal” or “alien” because we are all God’s children. Our country must have humane immigration reform that insures that all people who come to this nation are treated with respect and dignity, and have access to a path to citizenship.”

At the second forum, “The 2013 Hope Global Financial Dignity Summit,” King served as a panelist of the Closing Conversation Session, and said that “financial dignity and financial literacy” were “core components of stability and security for all people, regardless of race, income or social station in life.” Also on the panel with King were: H.R.H. Crown Prince Haakon of Norway, grandson of the King Olav V of Norway, who presented the Nobel Prize for Peace to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1964; Ambassador Andrew Young, Chairman of The Andrew Young Foundation, who was a top aide to Dr. King; John Hope Bryant, Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Operation HOPE, Inc.; and the panel moderator Soledad O’Brien, journalist and CEO Starfish Media Group.

King commended Operation Hope for providing “visionary leadership in educating people about the fundamental importance of financial security for families all over the world.” She also added that, “in order to build the Beloved Community envisioned by her father, Martin Luther King, Jr., “it is absolutely critical that we educate young people all over the world about the strategies for building financial security for their families.”

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