King namesake debuts new tribute to parents' vision
Published: Thursday, January 4, 2007 at 11:10 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 4, 2007 at 11:10 a.m.
King Week 2007
Pre-King Week Activities
Jan. 7-March 1
A. Quinn Jones Tribute Exhibit: "All Negro Children Can Learn," University Of Florida Smathers Library
King Week Activities
Jan. 8: Press Conference, noon, Martin Luther King Jr. Gardens, Downtown. Sponsor: MLK. Jr. Commission of Florida, Inc.
Jan. 9: King Week Kick-off Service, 6:30 p.m., Faith Missionary Baptist Church, 2905 SE 21st Ave. Speaker: Rev. Kevin Thorpe. Sponsor: MLK, Jr., Commission of Florida, Inc.
Jan. 10: The "Nonviolence'' Leadership workshop, 6:30-8:3O p.m., MILK Multi-Purpose Center, 1028 NE 14th St. Speaker: Joe Lipsey Jan. 11: 2007 Black History And Cultural Brain Bowl, 7 p.m., MIK Multi-Purpose Center, 1028 NE 14th St. Event sponsor: Elite Enterprises, Inc.
Jan. 12: The Dream of Homeownership, 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m., MLK Multi-Purpose Center, 1028 NE 14th St.
Jan. 13: "Restoration of Civil Rights Forum," 10 a.m.-3 p.m., MLK Multi-Purpose Center, 1028 NE 14th St. Event sponsor: Prudential Financial Services.
Jan. 14: Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission of Florida, Inc. 22nd Annual Hall of Fame Banquet: "Empowerment for the Next Decade: Healthy Minds, Healthy Bodies," 6 p.m., Paramount Resort and Conference Center.
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., Nu Eta Lambda Chapter, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Observance Program, 10:40 a.m. , Greater Bethel AME Church, 701 SE 43rd St. Speaker: Rev. Karl B. Smith Dr. Martin Luther King Celebration, 11 a.m., Mount Olive Primitive Baptist Church, 510 NE 15th St. Sponsor: Mount Olive Primitive Baptist church Television Special: "We Have A Dream," 4-6 p.m., WCJB TV2O National Holiday Activities Jan. 15: National Holiday Press Conference, 11:30 a.m., MLK, Jr., Gardens Downtown National Holiday Kick-Off Program, noon, Downtown Community Plaza. Speaker: DeAdria Hilliard, Buchholz High School, 2007 Edna M. Hart Keeper of the Dream Award Recipient.
Hall of Fame Memorial Tribute, 12:45 p.m. MLK Memorial Gardens, Downtown.
Annual Commemorative March, 1 p.m., MLK Memorial Gardens to MIK Multi-Purpose Center, Waldo Road.
National Holiday Program & Gospel Extravaganza, 2 p.m., MLK Multi-Purpose Center, 1028 NE 14th St.
Jan. 17: Coretta Scott King Observance Program, 6 p.m., Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church. Speaker: Rev Geraldine McClellan, North Central District Superintendent, United Methodist Church.
Jan. 18: Healthy Minds, Healthy Bodies: "Pampering the Brothers" Health Forum, 6 p.m., Alachua County Health Department Auditorium, 228 SE 24th St. Facilitator: Dr. Marty Coleman.
Salute To A Great Man, 6:30 p.m., Mt. Olive AME Church, 721 SE 8th St. Speaker: Kathie Amapnick "Sarachild"
Post King Week Activities Jan. 21: Reception for A. Quinn Jones Tribute Exhibit: All Negro Children Can Learn, 4:30 p.m., University of Florida Smathers Library.
Martin Luther King Commemorative Program, 11 a.m., Mt. Zion AME Church-Youth Department, Hawthorne. Guest Speaker: TBA Jan. 24: Ebony Fashion Show, 8 p.m., Lincoln Middle School, 1001 SE 12th St. Tickets: $25. Sponsor: Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.
Jan. 27 "Healthy Minds, Healthy Bodies" Health Fair, 9 a.m.-noon, MILK Multi-Purpose Center, 1026 NE 14th St.
Jan. 28 University of Florida Performing Arts Presents: "Can't Stop Loving You - Music of Ray Charles," 7:30 p.m., Curtis M. Phillips Center for Performing Arts.
Feb. 7 University of Florida Accent Speakers Bureau Presents: Martin Luther King III, 7:30 p.m., Curtis M. Phillips Center for Performing Arts.
Feb. 16 University of Florida Performing Arts Presents, Dayton Contemporary Dance CompanylColor-ography inspired by paintings of Jacob Lawrence, 7:30 p.m., Curtis M. Phillips Center for Performing Arts Feb. 17 Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Gainesville Alumnae Chapter Presents: 2007 Annual Youth Seminar, 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
Feb. 25 Ebony Appreciation Awards Banquet, 3 p.m, March 17 Breakfast for Madame, 9 a.m., Hilton University of Florida Conference Center, 1714 SW 34th St.
Sponsored by the Alachua County Charmettes.
Now Martin Luther King III says he is working through the grief of his mother's death last year by carrying on the work of the dreamer and the dream keeper to eradicate war, poverty and racism and promote nonviolent conflict resolution through his new nonprofit organization, Realizing the Dream.
King co-founded the group earlier last year with former U.N. Ambassador Andrew Young, a lieutenant of Martin Luther King Jr.'s during the civil rights movement.
In describing the group's goals, King echoes many of the ideals of The Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, which his mother founded shortly after King's death in 1968. King's new venture is a breakaway from the center, though he says that perhaps one day the two groups can coexist under the same roof.
At some point, we stopped doing that, but I wish we'd continued that,'' King said of the King Center's mission to provide nonviolence, conflict resolution and leadership training.
I'm trying to relaunch part of that effort. Many people talk about 'the dream,' but realizing the dream is about it actually happening,'' King said.
So for now, he's taking the dream on the road. King spent much of 2006 touring cities like Los Angeles, Oakland, Calif., San Antonio, Texas, Pine Ridge, S.D., and the Katrina-ravaged Gulf states, as part of a 20-community national tour to educate himself on the needs in those areas and build relationships with business, religious, government and community leaders to bring positive change to those communities.
Several entertainers, athletes, media personalities and politicians are pitching in to help King raise money for his new venture, auctioning dreams'' in a yearlong fundraising campaign. Among the first items auctioned off was lunch with former television news anchor Walter Cronkite and attending the movie premiere of Ocean's 13'' with star George Clooney.
Though he had the idea for Realizing the Dream before his mother's death in January, King said the project took on new meaning and urgency after she died from complications from ovarian cancer. King said he was touched by his father's example, but that he was also profoundly inspired by his mother's work, to which he was a witness and partner for much of his life.
Mom had the greatest impact on me,'' King said.
I couldn't help but be inspired by the many things she did. And the work is still there. I'm just so thankful for her example.''
King has worked as a human rights activist, traveling to Africa, Europe and Asia spreading the message of nonviolence. He has also served as head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference - the organization co-founded by his father in 1957 - and as president of The Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, which Coretta Scott King founded in Atlanta shortly after the civil rights leader was killed in 1968.
Quietly, in the months since his mother's death, King has been building the nonprofit organization, Realizing the Dream, which he said will provide conflict resolution, nonviolence and youth leadership training, and help communities with economic development - especially on thoroughfares around the country named after his father, many of which are in economically depressed areas. I felt compelled to begin an organization that would work more diligently toward the goals of my father, and now, my mother,'' King said.f-z Co-founder Young said King III is one of few in this country who are taking on issues like jobs, education, housing and security. Young said fighting poverty is everyone's job - which is why he cautioned against anointing King III as a new leader'' because of his new venture.
Anybody that's talking about helping the poor or helping wipe out poverty, I would be very supportive of,'' he said. I think it's a mistake to try to put him on the spot. He's an active, talented citizen who is committed to helping the least of these,'' Young said. Finding a way to call poverty into the fore is a challenge all by itself. I think that's a challenge he's accepted.''f-z Currently, King and his siblings are at odds over the future direction and ownership of the King Center. He became president and CEO of the center in January 2004, but was removed from the position after his brother, Dexter, became chairman of the board of directors. His cousin, Isaac Newton Farris Jr. now runs the King Center.
A National Park Service report showed the King Center needed $11 million in repairs. King and his sister, Bernice, split with the center's board in December 2005 - including their siblings Yolanda and Dexter King - over a possible sale of the King Center to the park service.
King said in an interview in December that he and his siblings have not discussed whether the center will be sold, but King remains a lifetime member of the board of directors, and he said he will continue to be involved in center decisions.
King's new dream is still an early one that is still taking shape, and his goal is an ambitious one, said Georgia State University history professor Clifford Kuhn.
His father found out that economic issues are pretty intractable and difficult to overcome,'' Kuhn said, adding that King will likely be helped by his name and connections, as well as his charisma and upbringing.
He's grown up in it,'' Kuhn said.
There are lots of other people out there addressing some of the same kinds of concerns. The question is, how is he going to establish his own particular niche and make a go of it?''
King points to his father's message of nonviolence and his vision for the Poor People's Campaign as a template for what he said he hopes Realizing the Dream will eventually become. Though Coretta Scott King tried to continue that work, King said his mother's vision never fully came to fruition, either.
The triple evils of war, poverty and racism are still in our midst, and in greater magnitude,'' he said.
Which is why King says he cannot let the pain of his mother's loss slow him down.
I don't know if you ever finish grieving,'' he said.
But I know that if she was here, she would be very proud of what I'm trying to do.''
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