News - January 2006

Martin Luther King Jr's Son to Speak at University of Rochester Jan 27

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Address at the University of Rochester will be delivered by the son of the late civil rights leader. Human rights advocate and community activist Martin Luther King III will discuss continuing his father's work in "My Father's Dream, My Mission" at 6 p.m. Friday, Jan. 27, 2006, in Strong Auditorium on the University's River Campus. His talk is free and open to the public.

Picking up his father's mantle, King has traveled throughout the United States as well as to nations in Africa, Europe, and Asia to support initiatives for equality, justice, and nonviolent conflict resolution. Currently, the second oldest of Martin Luther King Jr.'s four children is chief executive officer and president of The King Center in Atlanta. The center, which was founded in 1968 to preserve the Nobel Peace Prize winner's legacy, offers nonviolence programs and promotes community service initiatives.

In 1986, Martin Luther King III was elected to the Board of Commissioners of Fulton County, Ga., and worked on legislation regulating minority business participation in public contracting as well as on environmental issues involving water and waste disposal. In 1998, King started a five-year term as president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the organization that his father co-founded in 1957. During his tenure, the organization conducted hearings in 11 U.S. cities on police brutality and launched an anti-violence campaign that included a gun buy-back program.

Among youth programs that King has initiated are the King Summer Intern Program, which provides employment opportunities for high school students; Hoops for Health, a charity basketball game to raise awareness of newborns suffering the effects of substance abuse; and Call to Manhood, an event that connects young African-American males with positive adult role models.

King's talk concludes a two-week series of events throughout the University celebrating the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr., including a screening of a portion of the civil rights documentary Eyes on the Prize, a multi-faith service, community service efforts in the Rochester City School District by students from the College of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering, and an essay contest for undergraduate students relating the 1963 "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" by Martin Luther King Jr. to current civil rights issues.

For more information, contact the Office of Minority Student Affairs at (585) 275-0651.

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Address is sponsored by the College Diversity Roundtable and the Office of the President.


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