September 24, 2004



    WALLA WALLA, Wash.—Actress Yolanda King, the eldest child of Martin Luther King Jr., will give a dramatic presentation on the Whitman College campus on Sunday, Oct. 3.

    Ms. King’s presentation, "Achieving the Dream," will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Cordiner Hall, 46 S. Park St., Whitman College campus. Ms. King is the keynote presenter for the Tenth Annual Freedom from Discrimination Month in the Walla Walla Valley presented by the Walla Walla Race Unity Coalition in cooperation with other sponsors.

    In honor of Ms. King’s visit, there will be a workshop on Art & Social Action from 2-5 p.m. in Cordiner foyer sponsored by the Race Unity Coalition and the other sponsors of Freedom from Discrimination Month. The free workshop will bring together artists and activists with a focus on the use of art in promoting social justice. Selected art from the workshop will be displayed during the evening performance by Ms. King.

    Ms. King was born in Montgomery, Alabama, the eldest child of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King. She has performed and lectured across the United States as well as in Europe, Africa and Asia. Ms. King holds a B.A. degree in Theatre and African-American Studies from Smith College and a Masters of Fine Arts in Theatre from New York University. A seasoned actor, many of Ms. King’s stage, television and film credits reflect her commitment to social change. They include portrayals as Rosa Parks in the NBC-TV movie King, Dr. Betty Shabazz in the film, Death of a Prophet with Morgan Freeman, and Medgar Ever’s daughter, Reena, in Ghosts of Mississippi.

     Focusing on the highlights of the Civil Rights Movement, her most recent theatrical production is “Achieving the Dream” where she portrays several characters in the movement for civil and human rights. Ms. King has been honored with numerous presentations, awards and citations by organizations around the country and was named one of the Outstanding Young Women of America. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, and was founding Director of the King Center’s Cultural Affairs Program. She serves on the Partnership Council of Habitat for Humanity, is a member of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, a sponsor of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom and holds a lifetime membership in the N.A.A.C.P.

    She is also the co-author of a new book entitled, “Open My Eyes, Open My Soul,” featuring short stories and poems from people of varied backgrounds. A portion of the proceeds from the book go to The King Center For Nonviolence and Social Change and to the Southern Poverty Law Center’s “Teaching Tolerance” program. Ms. King will be available after the presentation to autograph copies.

    The primary sponsors of this keynote event are Whitman College, Walla Walla College, Walla Walla Community College, and the Race Unity Coalition. Additional sponsors include the Walla Walla Union Bulletin, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the City of Walla Walla, Walla Walla Public Schools, U.S. Veterans Administration Medical Center, YWCA, YMCA, Baha’i Faith, Walla Walla Friends Meeting, and Congregation Beth Israel.

CONTACT: Lenel Parish, Whitman College News Service, (509) 527-5156.


 or Dan Clark of the Race Unity Coalition, 522-0399.