“Remember! Celebrate! Act! King’s Dream for Our World” is the theme of the 2013 observance of King’s birthday, announced by the King Center on Jan. 5.
All events, except the annual Salute to Greatness Awards Dinner on Jan. 19, are free to attend.
King Center CEO Bernice A. King said the observance will present an inspiring, educational and multifaceted program of events for youth and adults. The Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service Project takes place on Jan. 21, when communities volunteer all day to make their neighborhoods better.
King, who is the daughter of the late civil rights leader and icon, says the King Center challenges people of all nations to begin a new era of nonviolent conflict reconciliation in keeping with her father’s vision of the essential unity of all people.
“We want to ignite a flame of freedom in the hearts of people everywhere that long for peace, prosperity, justice, and yes, even brotherhood and sisterhood,” she said.
The Salute to Greatness Awards Dinner at 6:30 p.m. at Atlanta’s Hyatt Regency Hotel Centennial Ballroom will honor Bangladeshi economist Muhammad Yunus and Aflac Inc. chairman and CEO Daniel Amos.
Yunus, the recipient of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize, is the founder of the Gameen Bank. He is considered “the father of micro-credit.”
Amos’ award recognizes Aflac’s extraordinary efforts to promote education, youth opportunities and economic development in diverse communities.
The Annual Commemorative Service takes place on Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Jan. 21, the federal holiday. This year’s featured keynote speaker is an “electrifying orator,” the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference.
His address will be a first for a Latino leader at the Commemorative Service, which is the nation’s “flagship” ecumenical religious observance on the King holiday.
It takes place in the Ebenezer Baptist Church Horizon Sanctuary and will include presentations from people of diverse races and faiths.
Other events include the King Youth Expo and Showcase from noon to 4 p.m. on Jan. 12, featuring young leaders who are demonstrating King’s spirit, philosophy and teachings in their schools, homes, communities and places of worship. It will provide peer-to-peer training and offer an on-site “Tweet Suite,” where young people can generate ideas to prevent youth violence and discuss strategies for creating the “beloved community” of which King dreamed.
There also will be a King Health and Wellness Fest on Jan. 12; the Metropolitan Atlanta Violence Prevention Project on Jan. 15; Kingian Nonviolence Collegiate Leadership Orientation on Jan. 16; and the Dream Art Contest Awards Ceremony on Jan. 19.
On Jan. 17, the State of Georgia Martin Luther King Jr. Advisory Council will host a tribute to King at 2 p.m. in the north wing of the State Capitol, and on Jan. 18, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will host a naturalization ceremony in the King Center’s Freedom Hall Auditorium.
For more information, visit www.thekingcenter.org or call 404-526-8900.