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King Center announces King Holiday plans

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ATLANTA--Bernice A. King, CEO of The King Center, today announced plans for the 2014 observance of the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., with a special emphasis on inspiring and educating youths to "Choose Nonviolence."

"We will commemorate the 85th birthday anniversary of my father with an array of exciting and uplifting programs and events to encourage people everywhere to choose nonviolence, particularly young people," said Ms. King.

Ms. King said that the "Choose Nonviolence" challenge will permeate The King Center's multifaceted 10-day program.

More than 1,500 students from greater Atlanta elementary, middle and high schools will converge on the King Center's campus for an interactive and engaging dialogue between the students and members of the King family from Jan. 13--16.

Students will explore practical ways to prevent violence, resolve conflicts and make a difference for the better. The dialogues will be moderated by a local media anchors and personalities including: Russ Spencer (Fox5-TV); Jovita Moore and Sophia Choi (WSB-TV); Lorraine Jacques-White (WAOK Radio); Mara Davis (WABE 90.1 Radio); Derrick Boazman (1380 WAOK Radio); Donna Lowry (WXIA-TV); Darian "Big Tigger" (V-103 Radio); Craig Bell (CBS Atlanta) and Ebony Steele (Dish Nation/Rickey Smiley Morning Show), and others.

On Wednesday, Jan. 15, 6-9 p.m., The King Center, will convene a discussion entitled "From Chaos to Community (A Dialogue on Human Trafficking)" at historic Ebenezer Baptist Church Horizon Sanctuary. Moderated by Mo Ivory, panelists include:  Assistant U.S. Attorney Susan Coppedge; Sheryl DeLuca Johnson, executive director of Street GRACE, an alliance of churches dedicated to the eradication of the commercial sexual exploitation of children in Atlanta; and sex trafficking abolitionist/author Rachel Lloyd; Neal Irvin, executive director, Men Can Stop Rape, and others.

There also will be a "Choose Nonviolence: Nonviolence or Nonexistence" discussion, on Thursday, Jan. 16, at the Coretta Scott King Young Women's Leadership Academy. The featured panelists include SCLC veteran activist Rev. Willie Bolden; financial literacy champion John Hope Bryant; Alayna Eagle Shield of the Standing Rock Reservation; Chicago's "Violence Interrupter" Ameena Matthews and others.

The King Center, in partnership with Kaplan University, will engage another 300+ college students and the general public from throughout metro Atlanta on the implications of nonviolence on their campuses and in their communities at the Ray Charles Performing Arts Center, on the campus of Morehouse College, on Friday, Jan. 17. Panelists include Malika Redmond, executive director of SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW; Dr. Kendra King Momon, associate professor of Politics and Director of the Rich Foundation Urban Leadership Program, Oglethorpe University; Doris Crenshaw, founder of the Southern Youth Leadership Development Institute, and others.

Following the discussion, students will be encouraged to commit to developing campus work groups to address one form of violence on their campus and to address it through nonviolence. Kaplan University is recording the session to be posted on its website and The King Center's site so that student teams from around the world may accept the challenge of addressing a form of violence on their campus and share their experiences through social media.

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