Martin Luther King III to Speak at Roanoke College

SALEM, Va. -Roanoke College is proud to welcome Martin Luther King III on Tuesday, January 16. King, the second oldest child of Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King, will offer a lecture at 7:30 p.m. in the College's Bast Center. All complimentary tickets have been distributed for this event. No additional seating is available.

King's speech, titled "My Father's Dream, My Mission," focuses on social responsibility and ending poverty in today's society. King has been motivating audiences around the world with his insightful message of hope and civility for nearly 20 years. He has taken the torch lit by his father and continued the quest for equality and justice for all people. A moving and popular speaker, he has been heard from Mozambique to Mississippi, Israel to Indiana. His message has touched thousands.

A human rights advocate, community activist and a political leader, King has been actively involved in significant policy initiatives to maintain the fair and equitable treatment of all citizens, at home and abroad. His missions have taken him to numerous nations throughout Africa, Europe, and Asia. His messages and initiatives are all rooted within the tenets of nonviolent conflict resolution.

In 1986, King was elected to political office as an at-large representative of over 700,000 residents of Fulton County, Georgia. His tenure on the Board of Commissioners was marked by legislation regulating minority business participation in public contracting, strong ethics legislation, purification of the county's natural water resources and stringent hazardous waste disposal requirements.

Committed to the personal, educational and skill development of youth, he has initiated several programs throughout the years to support and nurture young people. Among them were the King Summer Intern Program to provide employment opportunities for high school students; Hoops for Health a charity basketball game intended to increase public awareness of newborn babies who suffer the effects of substance abuse; and A Call to Manhood, an annual event designed to unite young African-American males with positive adult role models. In addition to addressing many youth groups and volunteering for several youth- and young adult-oriented projects, one of King's writing projects is directed to young people. His current signature youth project is the annual Kindness and Justice Challenge sponsored by Do Something.

In the spring of 2001, King hosted a cable series on the Wisdom Network entitled "The Wisdom of Dreams." The program presented the stories of individuals who were able to achieve extraordinary feats by pursuing their dreams.

In 2006, King began a new organization called Realizing the Dream, in efforts to get back to the core message of his father's dream, and work to end poverty in the U.S. It is a non-profit coalition force that will work across racial lines and hopes to work with governments, businesses, civic leaders and educators to bridge the growing gap between rich and poor. The organization brings together like minded groups in dialogue and cooperative effort, marshalling forces to confront poverty and injustice in America. King and others from the organization will embark on a nationwide "Listening and Learning Tour," in which they will go into numerous communities across the country to talk with civic, political and business leaders as well as those living in poor conditions. Cities on the tour thus far include Miami, Montgomery, San Antonio, Gary, ST Louis, New York, New Orleans and Philadelphia.

King received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Morehouse College, in Atlanta, Georgia, where he majored in political science. Martin Luther King III was nurtured among individuals deeply committed to the struggle for human rights and a nonviolent society. He has assimilated and utilized those values in his personal and public life.

Roanoke College, the country's second oldest Lutheran-related college, is an independent, co-educational, four-year liberal arts college. Roanoke is one of just 270 colleges nationwide with a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation's oldest and most prestigious honor society. The Princeton Review names Roanoke as one of the "best in the Southeast." Roanoke's 1,900 students represent 41 states across the U.S. and 25 foreign countries.

This event is sponsored by Roanoke's Office of Multicultural Affairs, Office of Community Programs and Dean's Office. For additional information, please contact the Roanoke College Public Relations Office at (540) 375-2282.