August 12, 2013

Media Contact: Bunnie Jackson-Ransom (404) 505-8188
King Center Contact: Steve Klein (404) 526-8944

Dozens of Cities Plan for World-wide ‘Let Freedom Ring’ Celebration

ATLANTA: As part of the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, The King Center announced expanded details for the observance of this historic milestone.

“The response to our call to commemorate the March on Washington and my father’s “I Have a Dream” speech has been overwhelming,” said King Center C.E.O. Bernice A. King, a convener of the nation-wide and global mobilization. “Our coalition has organized a wonderful, diverse program, which begins in Atlanta, continues for 8 days in Washington, D.C. and culminates with a global bell-ringing. We expect hundreds of thousands of people to join us in the nation’s capitol for this historic event, and many more to take part world-wide in their communities.”

The King Center, along with the National Park Service and others, is co-sponsoring a full day of activities on August 28th, the actual anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington and Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. There will be an Interfaith Service at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington, DC from 9:00 to 10:30 a.m. that will include a variety of religious disciplines.

That afternoon there will be a “Let Freedom Ring Call to Action and Commemoration Ceremony” from 11:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C will feature remarks from President Obama, former Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, the King Family, elected officials, international dignitaries, celebrities, youth and leaders from national and international organizations. The program is global in nature and will include performances by a Haka Team from New Zealand and Junkanoo Performers from the Bahamas. Confirmed program participants include: Kid President, Jaime Fox, Peter and Paul, Hill Harper, Soledad O’Brien, Lynda Johnson Robb, Bebe Winans and others to be announced. For more details, go to http://officialmlkdream50.com/.

Ms. King said that her father’s call to “Let Freedom Ring” in his speech will be answered with programs and bell-ringing ceremonies across the nation on August 28th at 3:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. In addition to the diverse activities scheduled for Washington, D.C., programs celebrating the ’63 March and Dr. King’s dream with bell-ringing ceremonies have thus far been scheduled in places as diverse as: Montgomery, Alabama; Little Rock, Arkansas; Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado; Stone Mountain, Roswell, Rome and Atlanta, Georgia; Honolulu, Hawaii; Topeka, Kansas; Louisville, Kentucky; Boston, Massachusetts; Chaska Minnesota; Tougaloo College, Jackson, Greenwood and Columbus, Mississippi; Jefferson City, Missouri; Amherst, Concord, Isles of Shoals, Nashua, North Conway, Pelham and Mt. Washington, New Hampshire; New York, New York; Delaware and Grandville, Ohio; Allentown, Lafayette College and Allegheny College, Pennsylvania; Nyack, New York; Lookout Mountain, Tennessee; Austin, Houston and Dallas, Texas; Marion Cross School, Norwich, Vermont; and the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, with more being added every day.

Bell-ringing programs will take place outside the U.S. at 3:00 p.m. in their respective time zones in locations as diverse as: Kathmandu, Nepal; Lutry and Montreaux, Switzerland; Monrovia, Liberia; London, U.K.; and Tokyo, Japan.

Other events commemorating the 50th Anniversary include:

The first King Center observance of the 50th anniversary begins on Saturday, August 17th from 3:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m at The King Center and National Historic site, Atlanta, GA. The King Center, in cooperation with the Martin Luther King, Jr., National Historic Site, Ebenezer Baptist Church, Atlanta Public Schools, the City of Atlanta, Operation Hope and others, will present the Atlanta Global Freedom Exposition to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and Dr. King’s historic “I Have a Dream” speech. The program will provide a unique, family-friendly opportunity to participate in honoring Dr. King’s great dream for our nation and world in the community where he was nurtured,” explained Superintendent Forte. The event is open to the public, free of charge.

On Tuesday, August 27th the King Center will co-host the K-12th Grade Educational Initiative at the “School Without Walls,” a Washington, D.C. public school. The event is for students, but the public is invited to stream the program from http://officialmlkdream50.com/.

On Sunday, August 25th The King Center will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech by participating in a gospel brunch sponsored by the InterContinental Hotels & Resorts at 11:30 a.m. in the grand ballroom of the Willard InterContinental, 1401 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington D.C. Dr. King put the finishing touches on his famous speech in his suite at the Willard Hotel the night before the pivotal August 28, 1963 March on Washington civil rights rally.

For more information about nationwide and global bell-ringing programs on August 28th, please contact Steve Klein at sklein@thekingcenter.org. To see a video clip of Bernice A. King inviting people and organizations to participate in the commemorative bell-ringing, please scan the QR Code below with your cell phone laser-reader app.

The theme for the commemoration of the March on Washington and the “I Have A Dream” speech, “Our World, His Dream: Freedom – Make it Happen,” has been endorsed and supported by the 50th Anniversary Coalition for Jobs, Justice and Freedom. The theme is undergirded by the three sub-themes: “Freedom to Prosper in Life;” “Freedom to Peacefully Co-Exist;” and “Freedom to Participate in Government.”

For more information about the 50th Anniversary of the I Have A Dream speech, please contact The King Center (Atlanta, GA) at 404-526-8944, sklein@thekingcenter.org or visit the website www.mlkdream50.com. To stay in touch with updated details, participate with the following: Twitter twitter.com/DCMARCHMLK50; Facebook www.facebook.com/Mlkdream50; Pinterest pinterest.com/mlkdream50/; and Intstagram mlkdream50. The Hashtag is #mlkdream50.

Media Contact:
For more information, please contact Bunnie Jackson-Ransom at (404) 505-8188 or email
First Class, Inc. bjr@fclassinc.com and/or staff@fclassinc.com.


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