Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Dinner to Honor Muhammad Yunus, and AFLAC, Inc. Inaugurate Coretta Scott King ANGEL Award

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The MLK Center for Nonviolent Social Change holds the 2013 Salute to Greatness Awards Dinner. Dr. Bernice King, Reverend ML King's daughter, presents this honor to AFLAC, Inc. and to Muhammad Yunus, recognizing their excellence in leadership and commitment to social responsibility.

I am my father's daughter; I realize that the responsibility for his legacy is ours. I am also my mother's child; and like her, i am determined to keep his spirit alive. This is why I am so honored to serve as the CEO of The King Center.

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, under the leadership of its CEO, Dr. Bernice A. King, will hold the 2013 Salute to Greatness Awards Dinner on Saturday, January 19th at 6:30 p.m. at Atlanta’s Hyatt Regency Hotel Centennial Ballroom.

The Dinner, The Center’s major fund-raising event, will honor Professor Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize laureate, “Father of Microcredit,” and Founder of the Gameen Bank, in addition to a great American corporation and corporate citizen, Aflac Inc. and its chairman and chief executive officer, Daniel P. Amos.

“The King Center welcomes the opportunity to honor one of our world’s great humanitarians, Professor Yunus, the pioneering leader of the ‘microcredit’ movement, which has empowered millions of women to lift their families out of poverty,” said Dr. Bernice King. “We are also honoring Aflac, Inc., for their innovative corporate citizenship and stellar example of social responsibility in communities across the nation,” she added.

One of The King Center’s highest honors, the Salute to Greatness Award, is being presented to these two individuals at the annual fund-raising dinner to recognize the excellence in leadership and a commitment to social responsibility in the spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr.

In addition, The King Center will unveil and present the Inaugural Coretta Scott King A.N.G.E.L. Award (Advancing Nonviolence through Generations of Exceptional Leadership), which recognizes young leaders (ages 12-25) and a youth organization/initiative that exemplifies exceptional leadership in the areas of peace, social justice and nonviolent social change. The recipients of the 1st annual A.N.G.E.L. Award are Mr. Alec Loorz, Founder, Kids vs. Global Warming (A.N.G.E.L. Award Youth) and “The 100 Days of Nonviolence” the Birmingham Campaign (A.N.G.E.L. Award Youth Initiative), accepted by City Councilman James (Jay) E. Roberson, Jr. Birmingham, AL District 7. The inaugural A.N.G.E.L. awardees exemplify the spirit of youth activism for environmental progress and the pursuit of social progress through Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’ s philosophy and methods of nonviolent conflict reconciliation.

“I am my father’s daughter; I realize that the responsibility for his legacy is ours. I am also my mother’s child; and like her, I am determined to keep his spirit alive. This is why I am so honored to serve as the CEO of the King Center. The challenges are great, but with help from our friends, supporters, and those who are committed to living the dream, we will not fail,” said Bernice King.

The Annual Salute to Greatness Dinner has become one of the largest dinners held in Atlanta during the calendar year, with many nationally-known public figures and some of Atlanta’s top community leaders participating. Some of the recipients of the Salute to Greatness Award in recent years have included: (then) Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton; Ben & Jerry’s; Oprah Winfrey; The Portman Companies; Bono; Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.; Quincy Jones; Sara Lee Corporation; Tony Bennett; AOL Time Warner; Stevie Wonder; the Coca-Cola Company; Coretta Scott King (posthumously); Mr. Reid Hoffman, co-founder and executive chairman of LinkedIn; and Ms. Sheila C. Johnson, founder and C.E.O. of Salamander Hotels and Resorts.

There will be a reception prior to the dinner in the foyer outside the ballroom beginning at 5:30 p.m. and an ‘Afterglow’ reception in the Regency Ballroom following the dinner. Sponsors of the Salute to Greatness Awards Dinner include: the Coca-Cola Company; Mercedes-Benz USA; Newell Rubbermaid; Delta Airlines; Allstate; Cox Media Group; Kaiser Permanente; Wells Fargo; The Home Depot; the Captain Planet Foundation; and others to be announced.

Ms. Ingrid Saunders Jones, senior vice president Global Connections of the Coca-Cola Company, is serving as the 2013 MLK Dinner Chair and the new co-chairs are Mrs. Laura Turner Seydel, chairperson of the Captain Planet Foundation and Mr. Tad Hutcheson, vice president, community and public affairs of Delta Airlines.    

The Dinner is one of the highlights of the King Center’s 10-day Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Observance program (January 11-21), culminating on the national holiday honoring Dr. King. The other events of the MLK observance program will be announced in the weeks ahead.

For more information about sponsorships and tickets, call Ms. Barbara Harrison at (404) 526-8961 (email: or Events Manager Ms. Sonjia Young at (404) 526-8989. Tickets may also be purchased on line via the King Center’s web page

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