As part of the 2017 King Holiday Observance and reflecting the organization’s mission to create a more just, peaceful and humane world with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s nonviolent philosophy, Nonviolence365™, The King Center, in partnership with the MLK Advisory Council, is hosting the Beloved Community Talks, Let’s Bridge The Racial Divide Across Urban, Suburban and Rural America. The interactive forum, which will serve as the launch for the Center’s two-year campaign by the same name, will take place on MLK Day, Monday, January 16, from 5:00 p.m.-7:30 p.m. (Eastern Time), in the Center’s Yolanda D. King Theatre For The Performing Arts, 449 Auburn Avenue, Atlanta, Georgia 30312. Let’s Bridge the Racial Divide, proudly sponsored by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, will be streamed live via Facebook.
The focus of the Let’s Bridge the Racial Divide campaign is to facilitate people working together to create sustainable and actionable solutions that heal the racial disconnect and cultivate peace and justice across urban, suburban, and rural America. The campaign, will include of subsequent forums and training experiences and will be a national catalyst to unify and galvanize people from different ideological, cultural, socioeconomic, and geographic backgrounds. The campaign will also engage various sectors of society, including media, corporate, faith-based, education, criminal justice, government, and entertainment.
Dr. Bernice A. King, CEO of The King Center and daughter of Dr. King and Mrs. Coretta Scott King, founder of The King Center, said, “In this pivotal U.S. Presidential Inaugural year, tension between races is significantly and dangerously heightened. Racial polarization is fueled by a basic lack of understanding between presumably opposite people. The inhumane tapestry of institutional and systemic racism is woven by people who encourage and implement racist ideologies within political and social institutions. When the hearts and minds of such individuals are exposed and changed, the systems that they corrode with racist ideologies will change as well. Therefore, we must be attentive to substantive individual and collective ‘heart and mind’ work.”
Let’s Bridge the Racial Divide will provide insight into ‘courageous conversations’ in the form of vignettes purposed to challenge us to seek first to understand, then to be understood. To bridge the racial divide, it is imperative that we explore conversations in many ‘arenas,’ including internally and within our families, as well as within our immediate spheres of influence.
Dr. King continues, “Repairing the racial breach was a divine mission for my mother and for my father, who stated, ‘People hate each other because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; and they don’t know each other because they have not communicated with each other; they don’t communicate with each other because they are separated from each other.’ Using Nonviolence365™ as our approach, The King Center is committed to continuing the work of facilitating communication that builds community, alleviates fear, overcomes hate and bridges the racial divide.”
Scheduled panelists and presenters for Let’s Bridge the Racial Divide on January 16, 2017 include:
Special Greetings: Mayor Kasim Reed, Atlanta, GA; Senator Emanuel Jones, Chair of the MLK Advisory Council; Michael Thurmond, DeKalb County CEO; Imara Canady, AIDS Healthcare Foundation.
Distinguished moderator: Byron Pitts, ABC News Journalist and Author.
Panelists: Dr. Bernice A. King, CEO, The King Center; Dr. Alveda King, Board Member, The King Center and Founder, Alveda King Ministries; Governor John Kasich, Ohio; Bakari Sellers, CNN Commentator; Pastor Jentezen Franklin, Free Chapel Worship Center; Mary- Pat Hector, National Youth Director, National Action Network; Daniel Blackman, Social Entrepreneur; Adam Cook, Sons of the Confederate Veterans; Dr. Umar Johnson, School Psychologist; Penny Nance, CEO and President of Concerned Women for America; Chris Crass, Community Organizer and Activist; Scott Shephard, Former KKK Member; Carli Eli, Founder of John 8:32 Ministries; Daryl Davis, Actor and Musician.
Seating is limited. The event is FREE and open to the public.
This event is in partnership with The MLK Advisory Council.
This event is sponsored by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation.
The Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change is a 501c3 organization established in 1968 by Mrs. Coretta Scott King. The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change (“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.