Coretta Scott King to speak at URI's convocation
KINGSTON, R.I. -- August 9, 2000 -- Civil rights leader and peace crusader
Coretta Scott King will join the University of Rhode Island as it kicks
off its new academic year and inaugurates its fall honors colloquium series,
"Nonviolence: Legacies of the Past, Bridges to the Future," on
King will receive an honorary doctorate of humane letters and speak on
how the Kingian legacy can be applied today during URI's Convocation ceremonies
in Edwards Auditorium, starting at 3 p.m. The annual event, which is free
and open to the public, also features the URI Foundation's presentation
of teaching, research, administrative, and staff excellence awards to members
of the University's community. Seating will be on a first come, first served
In her distinguished career, King has supported democracy movements worldwide
and has served as consultant to many world leaders including Corazon Aquino
and Nelson Mandela.
As founding president, chair, and chief executive officer of the Atlanta-based
Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change for 27 years
(1968 to 1995), she has dedicated herself to providing local, national,
and international programs that have trained tens of thousands of people
in Dr. King's philosophy and methods.
King entered the world stage as wife of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther
King Jr. and participant in the American Civil Rights Movement.
Balancing mothering (four children) and movement work, King spoke before
church, civic, college, fraternal, and peace groups. With a strong background
in music (she earned a degree in voice and violin from Boston's New England
Conservatory of Music,) King conceived and performed a series of freedom
concerts which combined prose and poetry narrations with musical selections.
The concerts functioned as fundraisers for the Southern Christian Leadership
Conference, the direct action organization for which Dr. King served as
Prior to her husband's public stand against the Vietnam War in 1967,
King served as liaison to peace and justice organizations, and as mediator
to public officials on behalf of the unheard.
Since her husband's assassination in 1968, King developed the King Center
as a living memorial to her late husband, guided the creation and housing
of the largest archives of documents from the Civil Rights Movement, and
spearheaded the movement to establish Dr. King's birthday as a national
She has carried the message of nonviolence to every corner of our nation
and globe and has spoken at many of history's largest peace and justice
rallies. In 1983, she brought together more than 800 human rights organization
to form the Coalition of Conscience, sponsors of the 20 th Anniversary March
on Washington, until then the largest demonstration in our nation's capital.
In 1985 King and three of her children were arrested at the South African
embassy in Washington, D.C. for protesting against apartheid. In 1987, she
helped lead a national Mobilization Against Fear and Intimidation in Forsyth
County, Georgia. In 1988, she re-convened the Coalition of Conscience for
the 25 anniversary of the march. In preparation for the Reagan-Gorbachov
talks, she also served as head of the U.S. delegation of Women for a Meaningful
Summit in Athens, Greece, and Soviet-American Women's Summit in Washington,
D.C. In 1995, she turned over leadership of the King Center to her son,
Dexter Scott King.
King has received honorary doctorates from more than 40 colleges and
universities; has authored three books and a nationally-syndicated column,
and has founded or served on dozens of committees including the Black Leadership
Forum, the National Black Coalition for Voter Participation, and the Black
King's visit is sponsored by URI's Office of the President and The University
of Rhode Island Foundation.
For More Information: Art Stein, 874-4059, Lynne Derbyshire,
874-4732, or Jan Sawyer, 874-2116
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