Dr. Bernice King: Civil Rights Legacy Keeper

Through her work at The King Center, Dr. Bernice A. King educates youth and adults about the nonviolent principles modeled by her parents.

A global thought leader, orator, peace advocate, and CEO of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change (The King Center), which was founded by her mother Coretta Scott King in 1968, this transformative leader steadfastly endeavors to advance her parents’ legacy of Kingian Nonviolence, which she re-branded Nonviolence365™️.

King was appointed CEO of the Center — the same position held by her mother — in 2012 by the Board of Trustees. That same year, she implemented an annual N.O.W. Encounter Summer Camp which has engaged youth from New Mexico, South Carolina, Michigan, Alabama, and as far away as the Island of Cyprus. Because of the impact the camp, now called Camp NOW, had on their lives, youth from Cyprus returned two years in a row.

The youngest of the King children spearheaded the ‘Let Freedom Ring and Call to Action’ event to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington and her father’s famous ‘I Have a Dream’ speech. This global event included then-President Barack Obama, former Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, and members of Congress, as well as many other international leaders, dignitaries and entertainers. As part of The King Center’s Nonviolence365 education and training initiative, she launched Students with King, which enables students to interact with King family members, as well as those who knew and/or worked with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mrs. Coretta Scott King.

Under her leadership, the Center has expanded and enhanced its community engagement to include partnering with the Urban League of Atlanta to provide Nonviolence365 experiences for 100 ex-offenders and to encompass launching the Better Together: Racial Reconciliation initiative for pastors and church leaders. Further, in an effort to build relationships between community and law enforcement and to decrease incidents of police brutality, The King Center, under her leadership, facilitates Nonviolence365 for Law Enforcement. Participants in NV365 Law Enforcement trainings have included chiefs, sheriffs and captains from metro Atlanta departments, as well as directors for agencies such as the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

Prior to taking on her role at the Center, King was already nationally and internationally known as one of the most powerful, motivating and life-changing orators and speakers on the circuit today. She began her oratorical journey when she spoke in her mother’s stead at the United Nations at age 17. Over the years, she has spoken on the steps of The Lincoln Memorial, The White House, major corporations and universities, and in nations throughout the world, including South Africa, Germany and New Zealand.

A graduate of Spelman College and Emory University, she has also received an honorary Doctorate of Divinity degree from Wesley College. In honor of her mother, she returned to her alma-mater, Spelman College, to announce the establishment of the Be A King® Scholarship. A noted author, she has to her credit, “Hard Questions, Heart Answers,” a compelling and inspiring book.

An innovative, energetic and committed leader, King is dedicated to taking her parents’ legacy and teachings, The King Center, and the work of creating a more peaceful, just, humane world with Nonviolence365 into a new era.

 

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