Bernice A. King, daughter of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King, is a keynote speaker for the upcoming MLK Commemorative Celebration to honor Martin Luther King, Jr. and his legacy on civil rights and social justice. 

The event will take place virtually on Thursday, Jan. 28 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. This event is open for anyone to attend, but attendees must RSVP through this link.

King serves as CEO of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, also known as The King Center.

Charlie Foster, assistant vice chancellor for Inclusive Student Excellence, is part of the leadership team organizing this event and said she is honored to have King speak at UNL. 

“[King] has a very unique perspective in that she talks about how losing her father had a great impact upon her life and really taking up the same type of garment in that she wants everyone to be included and seeking to make her father’s dream a reality,” Foster said. 

King also rebranded the Kingian Nonviolence program into the Nonviolence365, a program to revitalize her father’s nonviolent principles. This program offers training that helps individuals learn problem-solving skills, effective communication and how to overcome unconscious or implicit biases. This program has helped leaders of all fields to build nonviolent progress. 

Foster said King attributes much of her success as an activist to her mother Coretta Scott King. Foster said that although Coretta stayed home with the children, she was known for continuing the path her husband had carved until the day she passed.

“I think it’s very important to hear this female perspective of something that was very much, during that time, focused on men. She talks about Coretta in a way that pulls you into that perspective and really [makes you] think about it,” Foster said. 

King’s father died when she was five years old. Foster said that although King has to share her father’s death in many of her presentations, she makes people feel hopeful for a better future if they actually follow through with actions that allow society to embrace diversity. Foster said that King and her family gave everything in their life to push forward, making sacrifices and being questioned about her father by the public.

“Thinking about the MLK monument, it moves me. I have to get there; it’s like Mecca to me,” Foster said. “It represents a great figure in our history, and Dr. King has been working and using her voice to inspire people to use her father’s principles and push forward for a better nation. For all these reasons, I’m interested to see her speak.”