ATLANTA- January 16, 2016 Dr. Bernice A. King, CEO of the King Center is proud to announce Father Michael Pfleger as the keynote speaker for the King Holiday Observance annual commemorative service, as well as a special tribute by Senator Bernie Sanders. Special performances will be provided by Darlene McCoy, Minister Micah Stampley, Korean Christian Children's Choir, The Craig Lewis Band, and tap-dancersFreddie and Teddie. The service will take place on January 16th from 10am-1pm in the Horizon Sanctuary at Ebenezer Baptist Church, and will commemorate what would have been Dr. Martin Luther King’s 88th birthday and the 31st Anniversary of the Federal Holiday in his honor.
“We are extremely honored to have Father Mike as Keynote speaker for the King Center’s Annual Commemorative Service,” said Dr. Bernice King. “He is a shining example of a true modern-day activist and social warrior.”
Father Mike is senior pastor at The Faith Community of Saint Sabina in Chicago, Illinois. He was the youngest in diocese in 1981 when he was appointed pastor of the church and has held the longest tenure of any pastor at Saint Sabina. During his work within the church and the community, Father Mike has established several outreach programs that has helped benefit the Chicago area including the Ark Youth Center; a center that provides a safe-haven for youth and Saint Sabina Elders Village, an 80-unit development that house and cater to the needs of Chicago’s elderly citizens.
In addition to his local involvement within the underserved Chicago area, Father Mike has been an outspoken critic of tobacco and alcohol billboards that target minors and music that glorifies violence, as well as an advocate for gun control in America. He is committed to equality for all people and takes a strong stance against racism.
Father Mike has been the recipient of several awards including Rainbow Push Coalition’s, Keeper of the Dream award; SCLC’s, Rosa Park Awards; and Wades World Foundation, Unsung Hero’s Award. He has been profiled on 60 minutes, Nightline, and the Larry King Show for his service to the community. Father Mike is an inductee in both the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame and The Martin Luther King Jr. International Board of Preachers.
Other program participants include: Senator Johnny Isakson, Congressman Henry Hank Johnson, Attorney General Chris Carr, Mayor Kasim Reed, Japanese Consul General Takashi Shinozuka, Reverend Dr. Raphael G Warnock, Tyrese Gibson Artist/Actor, and Royce Mann of The Paideia School.
The Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change is a 501c3 organization established in 1968 by Mrs. Coretta Scott King. The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change (“The King Center”) is the official living memorial and programmatic nonprofit organization committed to educating the world on the life, legacy and teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The King Center serves to inspire new generations to carry forward his unfinished work, strengthen causes and empower change-makers who are continuing his efforts today. The King Center’s premiere educational initiative, Nonviolence365™, is based on Dr. King’s nonviolent philosophy and engages participants from various sectors of society, including emerging and next generation leaders, in modules and exercises that enhance communication, leadership, interpersonal and conflict reconciliation skills.