TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
Florida A&M University (FAMU) will host its annual Martin Luther King Convocation on Tuesday, January 11, 2011 at 10:10 a.m. in the Alfred Lawson Jr. Multipurpose Center and Teaching Gymnasium. This year’s keynote speaker is Martin Luther King III, son of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.
As the oldest son of the late Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King, Martin Luther King III is carrying the torch lit by both of his parents into the 21st century. His dedication to creating and implementing strategic nonviolent action to rid the world of social, political and economic injustice has propelled him to the forefront as one of the nation’s most ardent advocates for the poor, the oppressed and the disillusioned.
In 1986, King was elected to political office as an at-large representative of more than 700,000 residents of Fulton County, Ga. His tenure on the Board of Commissioners was marked by strong ethics legislation, purification of the county’s natural water resources, legislation regulating minority business participation in public contracting and stringent hazardous waste disposal requirements.
King is committed to the personal and educational development of youth and has initiated several programs throughout the years to support and nurture young people. Among them are the King Summer Intern Program designed to provide employment opportunities for high school students; Hoops for Health – a charity basketball game held to increase public awareness of newborns suffering the affects of substance abuse; and A Call to Manhood – an annual event designed to unite young African-American males with positive adult role models. One of King’s ongoing collaborations is with the annual Kindness and Justice Challenge sponsored by Do Something, Inc.
In the 1980’s, King was incarcerated for protesting against injustices in South Africa and for the release of freedom fighter Nelson Mandela. Throughout the 1990s, King continued the fight for justice by addressing the moral and political dilemmas of Haiti, Nigeria, Australia, and Sierra Leone. He has led protests against the biased digital divide in the field of technology and has spoken to the United Nations on behalf of individuals living with the challenges of AIDS. In the spring of 2001, King hosted a series on the Wisdom Network cable channel titled “The Wisdom of Dreams.” The programs highlighted stories of individuals who were able to achieve extraordinary feats by steadfastly pursuing their dreams.
In 2003, King co-sponsored the 40th Anniversary of the historic March On Washington with human rights organizations from across the country. His experiences as a committed son of the civil rights movement give him a unique perspective concerning critical problems facing our nation and world. In 2006 King founded the organization called Realizing the Dream and conducted a four-month long listening and learning tour on poverty in America. The program focus is three fold: economic development, youth leadership development, and nonviolence education, training and technical assistance programs.
King received his bachelor of arts degree in political science from Morehouse College, and is the recipient of numerous awards and several honorary degrees. In addition to being the president and chief executive officer of The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center in Atlanta, Ga., King is married to Arndrea Waters King and they are the proud parents of a young daughter, Yolanda Renee.