By Maria Boynton

The King Center’s CEO, Dr. Bernice A. King announces plans for the 2016 commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. According to a news release, the 9-day observance includes a broad range of unique educational programs, activities and events, beginning Wednesday, January 6th, and concluding on Monday, January 18th, the 30th Anniversary of the King Holiday.

2016 King Center’s King Holiday Observance (KHO) Remember! Celebrate! Act! King’s Legacy of Freedom for Our World


Friday, January 8 2016 King Holiday Observance Kick-Off and Reception

The King Center Freedom Hall Atrium 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
FREE and Open to the Public
The Kick-off Reception is an invitation to the general public to join us in honoring the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It will be a gathering of dignitaries, local consulates, elected officials, college & university presidents, corporate and business leaders, local activists, pastors, emerging youth leaders, the entertainment community and the community-at-large to participate in a celebration honoring the legacy of Dr. King.
The Kick-off Reception will serve as the opening event of our annual King Holiday Observance.

Saturday, January 9 Beloved Community Talks

Part I “The Race Factor”
Part II “Rights vs Responsibilities”
Location: The King Center, The Yolanda D. King Theatre for the Performing Arts Time: 10:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Registration Fee: $20.00
This two-part forum will utilize Dr. King’s nonviolent philosophy and methodology, Nonviolence365™, as a springboard for discussion of the topics, ‘The Race Factor’ and ‘Rights vs. Responsibilities.’ The Race Factor will engage participants in dialogue about the role that race plays in negative social constructs and how we can prevent racial biases from deterring progress. Rights vs. Responsibilities will explore the value of honoring
our responsibilities to others and to the global community in tandem with respecting individual and collective rights.

Sunday, January 10 Discussion and Book Signing

The King Center, The Yolanda D. King Theatre for the Performing Arts Time: 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
FREE and Open to the Public
Special Guest: Kit Cummings – Mr. Kit Cummings will participate in a moderated discussion about his book. He will also share in a book-signing with King Family members. Confirmed family members include Dr. Bernice A. King, Dr. Christine King Farris, Dr. Alveda King , Mrs.
Naomi King, and Dr. Angela Farris Watkins. Moderated by Dr. Hilda R. Tompkins.

Friday , January 15

Students with King
The King Center, The Yolanda D. King Theatre for the Performing Arts Times: 10:00 a.m.- 11:15 a.m. (Session I)
11:30 a.m. – 12:45 PM (Session II)
Year-round, The King Center’s C.E.O., Dr. Bernice A. King extends an invitation to public, private, and charter schools to visit The King Center and engage in dialog with her,
and extended King family members and people who knew and worked with Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King. Panelists will share intimate and personal stories about the lives of Dr. and Mrs. King and their journey to Nonviolence365™.

Building the Beloved Community with Environmental Justice
The King Center, The Yolanda D. King Theatre for the Performing Arts Time: 6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Free and Open to the Public
This forum will engage participants and panelists in a discussion about the importance of Environmental Justice in building the Beloved Community.
For more information contact: Vonnetta West at (404) 526.8972 or

State of Georgia Martin Luther King, Jr. Advisory Council Program Georgia State Capitol
Time: 11:00 a.m.
Keynote Speaker: Mrs. Xernona Clayton Free and Open to the Public
Georgia’s Governor will host a tribute to Dr. King, with participation from King Center officials. It will take place at the State Capitol, North Wing, Atlanta.

Gospel Concert
Ebenezer Baptist Church (Heritage Sanctuary) Time: 7:00 p.m.
Free and Open to the public

Friday, January 15

Roger Guenveur Smith: Rodney King Ferst Center for the Arts
Time: 8:00 pm

History, poetry, and tragedy collide when Roger Guenveur Smith tackles the thorny odyssey of Rodney King from the harsh glare of the national spotlight as the victim of police brutality to his lonely death at the bottom of a swimming pool. In this riveting performance, Smith captures the story of a flawed, good-hearted everyman, and reveals America’s endlessly complicated relationship with its racial past and present. Smith’s credits include the films Do the Right Thing, Malcolm X, Summer of Sam, American Gangster, and the HBO series K Street and Oz.

Saturday, January 16

Millennials with King Service Project John Hope Hill Elementary School Time: 9:00 a.m. – 12 noon
In collaboration with Points of Light, The King Center invites young adults and others to participate in this service initiative that will connect Dr. King’s nonviolent philosophy with an opportunity to provide 3 hours of service to a metro-Atlanta community.

The Annual “Salute to Greatness” Awards Gala

Hyatt Regency Hotel – 265 Peachtree Street, NE Atlanta, GA 30303 Reception: 6:00 p.m. Dinner and Program: 7:00 p.m.
Ticketed Event
The Annual Salute to Greatness Awards Gala is The King Center’s primary fundraising initiative. One of the Center’s highest honors, the Salute to Greatness Award is presented at the Dinner to recognize national and/or international individuals and corporations
that exemplify excellence in their leadership and have demonstrated a commitment to social responsibility in the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
STG Award Individual Honoree: Howard G. Buffett STG Award Corporate Honoree: TIAA-CREF
The awards recognize national and/or international individuals and organizations that exemplify excellence in leadership and have demonstrated a commitment to the principles and philosophy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The Salute to Greatness Award was established and awarded for the first time in 1983 by Mrs. Coretta Scott King.

The King Center’s Coretta Scott King A.N.G.E.L. (Advancing Nonviolence through Generations of Exceptional Leadership) Award will be given during the Dinner. The award is given in honor of and in keeping with the spirit of Mrs. Coretta Scott King. It recognizes a youth or young adult (ages 12-25) and a youth organization/initiative that exemplifies
exceptional leadership in the areas of peace, social justice and nonviolent social change.
A.N.G.E.L. Award YOUTH Honoree: Maya Penn
A.N.G.E.L. Award Youth Organization Honoree: Sojourn to the Past

The “Christine King Farris Legacy of Service Award” recognizes individuals who
have a lifelong history of service and exemplifies the values based on the leadership philosophy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his methods of nonviolence.
The Christine King Farris Legacy of Service Award Honoree: Edith Savage Jennings

Monday, January 18

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Annual Commemorative Service
Ebenezer Baptist Church – Horizon Sanctuary Time: 10:00 a.m.
Free and Open to the Public (Limited Seating)
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Annual Commemorative Service is the spiritual hallmark of the King Holiday Observance. The service is an ecumenical endeavor which is held on the Federal Holiday at Ebenezer Baptist Church located near The King Center.
Keynote Speaker: Dr. William Barber, II
Special Guest: Jeffrey DeLaurentis, Charge d’Affaires, U.S. Embassy Havana Cuba.
Performances by: Anthony Brown, Gospel Recording Artist
Heavenly Joy-Jerkins, America’s Got Talent Contestant

King Week Holiday March & Rally Time: 2:00 PM
FREE Open to the Public
The March is held on Auburn Avenue from Peachtree Street to Jackson Street. The Rally is held on Auburn Avenue. The areas of concern are education, technology, medical, investment, transportation, housing environmental justice, job creation, conflict resolution, interfaith, cultural exchange, peace, justice, and voter registration.


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