WASHINGTON, April 3, 2019 – Martin Luther King III today announced that he and his family will commemorate his father's 90th birthday anniversary year and the 51st anniversary of his assassination through their involvement in several events.
"My father, Martin Luther King, Jr., was assassinated 51 years ago on April 4th, when he was just 39 years of age," Mr. King said, in announcing his involvement in key events commemorating the anniversary. "But throughout 2019, we are also commemorating his 90th birthday year, as a time to reflect on the lessons of his life and leadership, and how his followers can use his philosophy and methods of nonviolence to address the critical social and economic problems we face today."
As part of the year-long observance, Mr. King said he will present and/or take part in three events:
On Thursday, April 4th, King, his wife, Arndrea Waters King and daughter, Yolanda Renee King will participate in a Candlelight Vigil and Wreath-Laying Ceremony in collaboration with the King Memorial Foundation at 7:00 p.m. at the National Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C.
On Friday, April 5th, Mr. King will convene Interfaith Leaders at The Washington National Cathedral Perry Auditorium at 10:00 a.m., and he will address the gathering. The program will feature a discussion about "how leaders in the field navigate the joys and challenges of interfaith collaboration, build relationships, and join in regional efforts to continue realizing Dr. King's dream."
Other participants include: The Rev. Canon Leonard Hamlin, Canon Missioner, Washington National Cathedral (moderator); Dr. Keith Byrd, Pastor, ZION Baptist Church and 2nd Vice-President, Progressive National Baptist Convention; Rabbi Lauren Holtzblatt, Co-Senior Rabbi, Adas Israel Congregation; Imam Talib M. Shareef, President and Imam, Masjid Muhammad - The Nations Mosque; and Rev. Dr. Paul Smith, former Pastor, First Presbyterian Church in Brooklyn, NY. Minister, mediator and civil rights activist. The event is free of charge and open to the public.
On Saturday, April 6th at 2:45 p.m., King will present "King Talks," a panel focused on the theme, "Where Do We Go from here?" in partnership with the Smithsonian Institute at The National African American Museum of History and Culture, Oprah Winfrey Theater. Arndrea Waters King and their daughter, Yolanda Renee King will also share their thoughts about the occasion.
In addition to Mr. King, other panelists at "King Talks" include: Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, former Lieutenant Governor of Maryland and Director of Retirement Security at the Economic Policy Institute; Matt Deitsch, director of strategy of March for Our Lives; Lamell McMorris, founder and CEO of the Washington, DC-based company Phase 2 Consulting and Founding Principal, Greenlining Realty USA; and Ms. Michael Leslie Amilcar, CEO of Cook Ross, Inc.