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Barbara Harrison, director of external affairs, strategic partnerships and programs with The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent and Social Change, is today’s guest on the Around Atlanta edition of Atlanta Real Estate Forum Radio. The mission of The King Center is to embrace Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., his philosophy and strategy of nonviolence to eliminate poverty, racism and violence.

Barbara has been with The King Center for 30 years, and she started her career there as an administrative assistant to Dr. King’s sister, Dr. Christine King Farris. During her time at the center, she has been involved mostly with programs and outreach, meaning she works with the community to let people know about Dr. King, his work and his legacy, as well as how they can get involved.

Since she had the privilege of working at The King Center when Mrs. King was alive, Barbara recalls that the heart of her message was passing on the legacy and message of Dr. King to the next generation. She wanted today’s youth to understand his philosophy and embrace it as a way of life. Today, the goal of The King Center is to protect the integrity of Dr. King’s nonviolent philosophy while helping the public to understand what it was. The center encourages people to connect with each other while living a nonviolent life 365 days a year.

The King Center is located on a 23 acre site and greets around 1 million visitors each year. Many people visit the site to honor and pay homage to Dr. and Mrs. King, whose crypt is located on the grounds under an eternal flame. The center also has exhibits that honor Ghandi, Rosa Park, and Dr. and Mrs. King, as well as a bookstore, resource center, library and archives. Offering a wealth of information and resources for students, academics and the general public, The King Center also hosts a variety of programs and events throughout the year.

With today marking Dr. Marin Luther King, Jr.’s actual birthday, a variety of special events are being held at The King Center and Ebenezer Baptist Church leading up to the 30th MLK Holiday on Monday, Jan. 19, 2015. Students with King events, which are held year round, give kindergarten through 12th grade students the opportunity to engage with members of the King family and individuals involved with the civil rights movement.  A musical tribute will take place Friday evening at Ebenezer Baptist Church beginning at 7 p.m., with the Annual Commemorative Service being held Monday, Jan. 19 at 10 a.m. also at Ebenezer Baptist Church. At the service, Dr. Gwendolyn Boyd, minister and president of Alabama State University, will be the keynote speaker, with special guest Sandi Patty being the featured artist.

In light of current events in the world, Dr. King’s nonviolent change message has never been more important. The King Center’s CEO, Bernice A. King, desires to make sure that everyone has an appropriate means to address conflict and situations that happen in their lives on a day-to-day basis. Every day, we’re faced with conflict, and The King Center believes that there is a way to deal with this conflict in a nonviolent manner based on Dr. King’s philosophy. The aim of many of the center’s programs is to give young people the tools and skills they need to deal with the conflict in their lives, from events as small as fights with their siblings, which will teach them to identify and resolve conflict issues throughout their lives.

While the grounds are open nearly all the time, The King Center is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. During the summer, Memorial Day through Labor Day, the center is open until 6 p.m. The center is located at 449 Auburn Avenue in Atlanta, just across the street from the birth home of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. While no arrangements need to be made to visit The King Center, tours of The Birth Home are first come, first served at specific times.

To connect with The King Center for volunteer opportunities, call 404-526-8900. You can also find more information about the center and Dr. King’s philosophy of nonviolence by listening to the full podcast above, and then visiting www.TheKingCenter.org and www.ChooseNonViolence.org.


The “Around Atlanta” segment is designed to showcase the best of metro Atlanta – the communities, attractions and special events that make this city great. To submit your event, community or attraction to the Around Atlanta edition of Atlanta Real Estate Forum Radio, contact 770-383-3360.

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