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Black Arts and Culture

King Center Providing Plans For 1968-2018 Anniversaries

The King Center leads the nation and world in the global commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination and the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of The King Center’s founding.

Key organizations across the world, including the National Civil Rights Museum, are joining with The King Center to facilitate a year of ‘edutainment’ and empowerment designed to engage youth, students, families, faith communities, marketplace leaders and others in remembering Dr. King’s assassination. Dr. King was assassinated on April 4, 1968 at Memphis’ Lorraine Motel, which is now the home of the National Civil Rights Museum.

With MLK50 Forward: Together We Win with Love for Humanity as the global theme, The King Center will host a broad spectrum of events and initiatives in global commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination(April 4, 1968) and in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of The King Center’s founding (June 26, 1968).

The Center’s intergenerational, interactive engagement with the international community will be closely aligned with the Center’s mission to prepare global citizens to create a more just, humane and peaceful world using Dr. King’s nonviolent philosophy and methodology, which the Center calls Nonviolence 365™ or NV365™.

The Center is serving as the communication and planning hub for programs and initiatives. Organizations and individuals, across what Dr. King described as the “world house,” who are interested in providing volunteer or monetary support, and/or who wish to engage their local communities in the 2018 50th anniversary commemorations, should visit Toolkits will be provided to guide organizations and communities around the world in recognizing the assassination.

“We commemorated the 50th anniversary of my father’s prolific message, ‘Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence,’ and the 49th anniversary of his assassination with special programs focused on the responsibility of faith leaders in building the Beloved Community.

“Even as we remembered these 2017 anniversaries, we were planning for the 2018 occasions to honor my parents, lift humanity, and encourage the work of justice,” shares Dr. Bernice A. King, CEO of The King Center and youngest daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and King Center founder, Coretta Scott King.

Dr. Bernice A. King continues, “2018 will be a reflective, yet powerfully relevant, year for The King Center. It also promises to be momentous for those who join the Center in not only remembering my father’s death and celebrating my mother’s legacy as founder of the Center, but also unite with us in educating, equipping and empowering humanity to move forward. Both my parents deposited a wealth of wisdom, in the form of writings, speeches, and demonstration, on this Earth.

“The 2018 50th anniversary commemorations will highlight what they deposited, while also inspiring and informing us about how to build the Beloved Community by cultivating what they left us.”

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The global commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination will be held April 4-9, 2018. Events commemorating the 50th anniversary of the founding of The King Center will be held June 23-26, 2018.

Among King Center signature experiences for the 50th anniversary commemorations will be a Beloved Community Global Expo and Leadership Summit; a special exhibit in honor of Coretta Scott King; a retracing of the April 9, 1968 processional from Ebenezer Baptist Church to Dr. King’s undergraduate alma mater, Morehouse College, that will culminate with a Call to Action; an interactive Nonviolence365™ technology experience for youth and adults.

Also, entertainment events that inspire a love ethic, peacemaking, global citizenry and building the Beloved Community; an Atlanta-Memphis experience as a component of the Center’s faith-based initiative, Better Together, which unites faith leaders and galvanizes them around racial reconciliation and community transformation. Other events and initiatives will be announced in the coming months.

Commemoration Events In Memphis and Atlanta

In Memphis, Tennessee, where Dr. King was assassinated, the National Civil Rights Museum began a year-long multi-cultural, multi-generational commemoration in 2017 in honor of Dr. King’s life and legacy. Their focus, MLK50: Where Do We Go From Here?, honors and reflects on the past, evaluates the present, and proposes solutions for the future. The events are leading to the April 4th commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination at the Lorraine Motel, which is now a part of the Museum.

Throughout the commemorative year, a special website,, is serving as the official portal for storytelling, engagement, a master calendar and updates on the MLK50 initiatives.

In Atlanta, Georgia, Judy Forte, Superintendent for the National Park Services, the Center’s national partner, shares a snapshot of what is in the works, “A special ceremony will be held on Monday, April 9, 2018, at Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church Heritage Sanctuary, to commemorate the day of Dr. King’s funeral and entombment. A photo exhibition of Dr. King’s assassination will be displayed in the DREAM Gallery. The exhibition will include the historic caisson used to carry his casket from Ebenezer Baptist Church to the Morehouse College campus.

Throughout 2018, we will provide dynamic youth engagement opportunities, and offer unique and special educational forums where the public can remember, experience and honor the life and legacy of Dr. King.”

Dr. Bernice A. King states, “As we move into the 21st century, it is incumbent upon us to realize that, while Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King were global, influential leaders who answered divine calls to fulfill great assignments, we, too, have assignments to complete. Together, we can, in our various roles and capacities, lovingly use our skills to build the Beloved Community and win for humanity.

“As my father stated, ‘Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.’”

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To learn more about opportunities for community leadership, sponsorship and volunteering, please visit The site will be continually updated with more info on King Center signature events and with corresponding initiatives throughout the world.

Stay connected via Facebook (The King Center), Twitter (@TheKingCenter), and Instagram (@thekingcenter), as announcements of events will be posted regularly.

About The King Center

The Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change (The King Center) is a 501(c)3 organization established in 1968 by Mrs. Coretta Scott King. 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.

By Rosaland Tyler
Associate Editor

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