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Daughter of late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to speak at ETSU

From Staff Reports

Dr. Bernice A. King, daughter of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Coretta Scott King, will speak at East Tennessee State University Monday, March 20, at 7:30 p.m.  in Brooks Gymnasium.  Her appearance is part of the SGA Civility Celebration 2017.

Bernice A. King is the Chief Executive Officer of The King Center, which was founded by her mother in 1968.  She was appointed to this position in January 2012 by the Board of Trustees.  She began her oratorical journey when she spoke in her mother’s stead at the United Nations at age 17.  Over the years, she has had the occasion to speak in such places as the steps of The Lincoln Memorial, The White House, major corporations and universities, and in places throughout the world including South Africa, Germany, and New Zealand to name a few.

In January of 2011, King launched the “100 Days of Nonviolence” campaign at the Coretta Scott King Young Women’s Leadership Academy to expose the girls to nonviolence as modeled by her father and to encourage them to begin embracing it as a way of life.

Through her work at the King Center, King has continued to educate youth and adults about the nonviolence principles modeled by her parents.  In 2012, she implemented an annual N.O.W. Encounter Summer Camp which has educated youth from New Mexico, South Carolina, Michigan, and Alabama and as far away as Cyprus. Because of the impact the camp had on their lives, youth from Cyprus returned two years in a row.

In 2013, as she continued her parents’ legacy, she spearheaded the August 28, 2013, “Let Freedom Ring and Call to Action” event to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and her father’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech.  This global event included President Obama, former presidents Clinton and Carter, members of Congress, as well as many other international leaders, dignitaries and entertainers. In the spirit of her father, she was an instrumental factor in helping Aboriginals and others in Vancouver, Canada understand the importance of forgiveness, unconditional love and reconciliation when she spoke to a crowd of over 75,000 people.

In 2014, as part of the Center’s Nonviolence 365 education and training initiatives, she launched Students with King, which enables students to interact with King and Farris family members, as well as those who knew and worked with Dr. King and Mrs. King. Also in 2014, King launched a series on interactive web-talks with students throughout the country using “Google Hangout” as the platform. This initiative enables King to use technology to converse with students while she is at The King Center and the students are in their classroom.

As part of her work in 2014, King provided Nonviolence 365 education training in Ferguson, Missouri, that included students, teachers, law enforcement, gangs, businesses, community leaders and activists.  She encouraged them to commit themselves to embracing nonviolence as a lifestyle. The work in Ferguson, Missouri, continues, and the requests for Nonviolence 365 education and training continue to pour into The King Center.

In January 2015, under King’s leadership, The King Center hosted its first Beloved Community Talk entitled “The Race Factor: The Lies, The Myths and The Truths” as part of its 2015 King Holiday Observance. One of the most moving and inspirational experiences hosted by her was The King Center’s program commemorating her mother’s life and legacy entitled “Mothers in the Movement: From a Daughter’s Perspective.”

Funding for Dr. King’s appearance is made possible by several ETSU offices and organizations, including the Multicultural Center, President’s Office, Office of Equity and Diversity, Student Affairs, Sherrod Library, Summer and Winter Sessions, Academic Health Sciences Center, Enrollment Services, Resident Housing Association, Women’s Resource Center, Office of Leadership and Civic Engagement and the Student Government Association.

More information and tickets are available at Tickets are $10 for the general public and free for students, faculty and staff with a valid ID.  For more information, contact the ETSU Student Organization Resource Center at 423-439-6633.