Tuesday, January 07, 2020

Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration

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Former Tallahassee Mayor and 2018 Democratic Florida gubernatorial nominee Andrew Gillum will deliver the keynote address for Duke University’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. commemoration on Sunday, January 19.

Gillum, the Florida Democratic Party’s first African-American nominee for governor, will speak on “the power of the people,” the commemoration theme. The program in Duke University Chapel is open to the public.

In March 2019, Gillum launched the voter outreach organization Bring It Home Florida and vowed to register one million new voters in Florida before this year’s presidential election. Gillum, who lost the gubernatorial race to Gov. Ron DeSantis by less than a half a point, is now a CNN contributor.

Gillum has called Florida a “one percent state,” noting that the last three presidential races were decided by just one percent of the vote. Gillum joins Stacey Abrams, who narrowly lost the 2018 gubernatorial election in Georgia, in fighting for voting rights.

The annual program will link King’s civil rights legacy to the continuing struggle for equity and justice in all facets of our society. The event starts at 3 p.m. Free parking is available in the Bryan Center Parking Garage (see map at http://myatlascms.com/map/?id=21&mrkIid=39570) and a live webcast of the commemoration will stream at chapel.duke.edu.

“As we reflect on Dr. King’s legacy, we really wanted a speaker who would be positive and inspirational at this moment, and someone who is working toward the common good,” said Kimberly Hewitt, vice president for Duke’s Office for Institutional Equity.

Other highlights of the Duke Chapel program include performances by the Duke Amandla Chorus and The Collage Dance Company, as well as greetings from Duke University President Vincent Price, Chancellor for Health Affairs Dr. A. Eugene Washington, Duke Black Student Association Vice President De’Ja Wood and Durham Mayor Steve Schewel.

Preceding the event, at our usual 11:00 a.m. Sunday Morning Worship service, we are welcoming The Rev. Dr. Soong Chan Rah, professor of church growth and evangelism at North Park Theological Seminary in Chicago. He was founding senior pastor of Cambridge Community Fellowship Church, Cambridge, Mass., a multi-ethnic, urban ministry-focused church committed to living out the values of racial reconciliation and social justice in the urban context. A livestream of the service is available on the Chapel website and a recording is available afterwards.