Many important events were held in August 2013 to commemorate the 50 years of Martin Luther King’s March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. A virtual education panel titled “50 Years of Struggle: Youth Driving Economics, Education and Social Change” was held at the School Without Walls (Washington DC) on August 27, 2013 (a day prior to the 50th anniversary of the event), in two different sessions, a high school panel session (from 9 AM to 11 AM) and a 4th to 8th grade session (from 1:15 PM to 2:30 PM).
The event organized by the King Center in partnership with the Kaplan University and Discovery Education, was streamed online, with a great multitude of students joining in from all across the United States. The United States high school students were sent out a special invitation to join the panelists for a two hour long virtual field trip that brought together many civil rights activists who had played a key role in changing the world.
Laura Schwartz, TV commentator, professional speaker and author of the book Eat Drink & Succeed was called up to moderate the distinguished panel consisting of several civil rights heroes and well-known public figures.
Following is a list of the panelists, along with a bit about each one of them:
Bernice A King, CEO of the King Centre – Youngest child of Dr Martin Luther King and his wife Coretta Scott King, she was merely 5 months old when Dr King delivered that historic “I have a dream” speech.
Angela Farris Watkins – Niece of Dr Martin Luther King and Associate Professor of Psychology at the Spelman College.
Congressman John Lewis – A Fisk University and American Baptist College alumni, John Lewis is a civil rights leader and an American politician. He is also the dean of the Georgia congressional delegation.
Civil Rights Activist Naomi King – Dr Martin Luther King’s sister-in-law (of his younger brother), Naomi King is a well-known civil rights activist.
Ambassador Andrew Young – Former Mayor of Atlanta, Andrew Young is a widely known pastor, diplomat, politician and activist from Georgia.
Civil Rights Activist Willy Leventhal – His full name is Willy Siegel Leventhal and worked first-hand with Dr Martin Luther King and SCLC in their civil rights initiatives back in 60s.
Superintendent of Miami Dade Public Schools, Alberto Carvalho – A well-known educator and Superintendent of the Miami Dade County Public Schools, Alberto Carvalho is a public figure to reckon with in education circles.
Human Rights Activist Elisabeth Omilami – She’s a famous actress and human rights activist of African-American origin. Elisabeth spent much of her younger years participating in civil rights movements during the 50s, 60s and 70s.
Other important panelists were: Carolyn McKinstry, Bombing Survivor from 16th Street Baptist Church, US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, John Hope Bryant, Ernie Green, Phillip Agnew, Kaya Henderson, Dick Gregory, Sinclair Blue, Doris Crenshaw and Willie Bolden.