Dr. Bernice King, Martin Luther King, Jr., legacy, social, holiday

Dr. Bernice A. King Kicks Off The New Year Celebrating The Legacy Of Her Father With New Initiatives

This year’s theme: It Starts with Me: Shifting the Cultural Climate Through the Study and Practice of Kingian Nonviolence.

In celebration of the 39th Annual Observance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday, Dr. Bernice A. King, The King Center and King Holiday Observance will host several events to honor the late activist and his work. On Jan 4., before the planned activities, Dr. Bernice King spoke at the 2024 King Holiday Observance Press Conference, highlighting the necessity of Dr. King’s mission in today’s climate. 

“We face individual and collective choices that will determine whether we will continue to diminish and devastate humanity and the earth or if we will become co-conspirators to shift the cultural climate throughout our nation and world,” she said. “The looming levels of threat to our current existence through physical, sexual, and socio-economic violence, terrorism, wars, and AI, as well as the confluence of hate and genocide, war and genocide, greed and genocide. We are witnessing unprecedented loss of human life, especially among the Black, brown, and indigenous people throughout the world. Yet we continue to sit in silence, turn a deaf ear and a blind eye to the glaring truths of this reality.”

The King Holiday Observance Kick-Off Reception and Book Signing will take place Jan. 9 in Atlanta. Dr. Bernice King is scheduled to sign her new children’s book, Coretta, inspired by her late mother’s autobiography, My Life, My Love, My Legacy. Open to the public, this event is from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. EST at the Freedom Hall Atrium in the King Center. 

Dr. King’s vision has transcended generations, largely due to the work of the King Center and CEO Dr. Bernice King, who has worked tirelessly to preserve his memory and mission. Ahead of the 2024 King Holiday Observance on Jan. 15, there will be a number of online and in-person activities for demographics of all ages. This year’s theme is It Starts with Me: Shifting the Cultural Climate Through the Study and Practice of Kingian Nonviolence.

In partnership with the Be Love movement, the King Center will also present a virtual series called “NONVIOLENCE365: Shifting the Climate Through a Love-Centered Strategy” to promote Dr. King’s mission of nonviolence. Starting on Monday, Jan. 8 at 11:00 a.m. EST, the two-day series will encompass a deep dive into Dr. King’s teachings about power, love, and violence and will feature prominent community leaders, including retired St. Louis Police Dept. Captain Charles Alphin, author and entrepreneur Cierra Bobo, and Dr. Vonnetta L. West will helm the training session. 

On Jan. 10, children can tag along during a virtual reading of Linzy Binzy: Around the World with Friends as Linzy Binzy learns the power of self-love in the first installment, Loving the Skin We’re In. The event will also feature a puppet show. Special guests include author Bonita Hampton Smith, illustrator Elena Paudel, puppetry artist Jimmica Collins, and moderator Meeka the Bunny. This activity will be from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. EST. 

Immediately after the Virtual Youth Book Reading and Puppetry Presentation, attendees can participate in the Global Summit, where speakers will engage in panel discussions, interviews, 10-–to 15-minute Summit talks, and innovative video presentations. From 10:00–4:00 p.m., guest influencers, artists, civic leaders, activists, and global community members will discuss the most pressing issues and how to advance Dr. King’s values in this age. 

The Global Youth Summit will occur on Friday, Jan. 12, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. EST. The event will help young people meaningfully engage with Kingian Nonviolence to transform the world’s current social and political landscape and will include panel discussions, performances, group exercises, and more. That same day, the King Center is also hosting a Teach-In session for the youth, where educators and trainers will present lesson plans outlining the significant work of the Civil Rights Movement for ages K-12 and reinforce knowledge and skills that they might bring to their academic and career life.

For a list of scheduled events and registration links, visit https://thekingcenter.org/events/.

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