Local News

The King Center announces 54th Annual Commemorative Service featuring keynote speaker Bryan Stevenson, director of the Equal Justice Initiative

Atlanta, GA: The King Center will host the 2023 Martin Luther King, Jr. Beloved Community Commemorative Service on Jan. 16, 10 a.m., at Ebenezer’s Horizon Sanctuary, 101 Auburn Ave., Atlanta. The service will broadcast live on FOX 5 Atlanta and livestream on Facebook, YouTube, fox4atlanta.com, and thekingcenter.org.

The 54th Annual Commemorative Service is the hallmark of the King Holiday Observance.  The Rev. Natosha Reid Rice and Pastor Sam Collier will preside over the event. The King Center CEO, the Rev. Bernice A. King, will give the Call to Commemoration.

This year’s keynote speaker is Bryan Stevenson, lawyer, social justice activist, law professor at New York University School of Law, and the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI). U.S. Sen.and Senior Pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church, the Rev. Raphael G. Warnock, and Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens, will give pastoral and city greetings, respectively. Several special guests will give tributes to Dr. King including:

  • Leo Smith, CEO, Engaged Futures Group, LLC
  • Rick West, Founding Director and Director Emeritus, National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution
  • Renee Montgomery, co-owner and Vice President of the Atlanta Dream
  • Pastor Dennis Rouse, author and founding pastor of Victory Church
  • Veronica Maldonado-Torres, president and CEO of the Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Somalia Gilliard, a senior and Coretta Scott King Young Women’s Leadership Academy, will give a special tribute to Mrs. Coretta Scott King.

The commemorative service will feature performances by musical guests: Yolanda Adams, Kierra Sheard, Justin Schultz, Morton, Minister Angella Christie, Ashling Cole, Uzee Brown, and Bishop William Murphy. The Commemorative Service Choir will perform, accompanied by The Covington Regional Ballet. There will be an international musical performance by the Far East Broadcasting Company Korea Children’s Choir.


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