August 16, 2006

Civil rights leader to speak in Carbondale

by Sun Min

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- A world-renowned civil rights leader kicks off the fall lecture series of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Martin Luther King III will speak at Carbondale's New Zion Missionary Baptist Church on Saturday, Aug. 26, at 5 p.m and at Carbondale's First United Methodist Church on Sunday, Aug. 27, at 10:45 a.m.


Media Advisory

Reporters and photographers are welcome to attend the Aug. 26 event. Martin Luther King III will be available for interviews immediately following his speech. To schedule an interview, contact institute Assistant Director Matthew C. Baughman at 618/453-4009.


"We are pleased to co-sponsor the visit by Martin Luther King III to our community, particularly because we believe he will inspire young African-American males participating in our annual Leadership Weekend," said Mike Lawrence, director of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute. "I am confident he will deliver the strong, powerful message we have come to expect from members of a family that made a unique contribution to equal justice in our nation."

King's appearance coincides with the Public Policy Institute's fourth annual leadership weekend for young African-American males from the East St. Louis area. King's message will focus on preparing and empowering leadership in young people.

King is a son of the late Martin Luther King, Jr. He is president and CEO of the King Center in Atlanta, Ga. He is dedicated to implementing nonviolent action to rid the world of social, political and economic injustice.

In the 1980s, King was incarcerated for protesting against injustices in South Africa and for the freedom of Nelson Mandela. King continued his fight for justice throughout the 1990s by addressing the moral and political dilemmas of Haiti, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.

King's is also the former president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

King was born in Montgomery, Ala., the second oldest of four children of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King. He received a bachelor's degree in political science from Morehouse College, in Atlanta, Ga.

King is following in the footsteps of his late mother and late grandfather. Coretta Scott King spoke at SIUC shortly after the 2001 terrorist attacks. Martin Luther King, Sr. spoke in Carbondale in the 1970s.

New Zion Church, First United Methodist Church, SIUC Student Programming Council and the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute are sponsoring King's visit. The public is welcome at any of the events, all of which are free of charge. However, there is limited seating available on a first-come, first-served basis. A sign language interpreter will be present. For more information, call 618/453-4009 or visit

Developing citizen-leaders with global perspectives, and pursuing leadership opportunities to address social, health and economic development issues of importance to our region, are among the goals of Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment, the blueprint for the development of the University by the time it celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2019.