Martin Luther King Lecture
The Martin Luther King Lecture is a yearly event that aims at contributing to social integration by promoting the ideas of Martin Luther King. Justice and Peace co-organises it with the Vrije Universiteit (VU) Amsterdam and the Martin Luther King Lecture Foundation.
Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968) was an American reverend, a prominent member of the American civil rights movement and a strong advocate of non-violent action. With others, he organised the boycott of public buses in Montgomery, Alabama in 1955 as a protest against racial segregation in public transport. He also led the mass demonstration of August 28th, 1963 in Washington D.C., during which he delivered his famous speech ‘I have a dream’. In 1964 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and in the following year he received an honorary doctorate from the VU Amsterdam. He was assassinated on April 4th, 1968 in Memphis, at age 39.
Fifty years after King’s death, many citizens around the world still suffer from discrimination based on skin colour, gender or sexual orientation. King’s words are an inspiration today for the ones who want to contribute to a more just world.
The goal of the Martin Luther King Lecture Foundation is to keep the ideas of King alive and accessible. The reading gives the floor to the different voices in the lively debate on inequality in the Netherlands, for example the challenges second-generation immigrants face in the job market.
Speakers such as Jan-Peter Balkenende, Lodewijk Asscher and Jerry Afriyie discuss with the public the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. and how it influences their lives and work.
The Martin Luther King Lecture usually takes place in early April. Stay tuned for the 2020 edition!
Picture by Daniella van Bergen