Martin Luther King, Jr Unity Breakfast
The Martin Luther King, Jr Unity Breakfast is an annual celebration held on the morning of the Martin Luther King, Jr federal holiday, observed since 1996 on the third Monday of January. The event is coordinated by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the National Conference for Community and Justice, Operation New Birmingham's Community Affairs Committee, Greater Birmingham Ministries, and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
The idea of holding an annual event to honor the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr originated with Abraham Woods, Jr, chair of the Birmingham SCLC. Odessa Woolfolk and her colleagues in the Community Affairs Committee suggested holding a celebratory breakfast. The event has continued to grow each year, featuring a keynote address, awards, and performances by area musical groups.
Part of the breakfast honor essays submitted by metro area high school students on topics associated with King's legacy. The authors of the top three essays are awarded college scholarships. The winners from each school are invited to be guests at the breakfast. Student artwork is also exhibited as part of the event.
 Themes and guests
- January 17, 2011: BJCC: Birmingham Mayor William Bell delivered a keynote address in which he called for more support of public transportation as an economic justice issue.
- January 18, 2010: BJCC: Birmingham-Southern College professor Ed LaMonte delivered a keynote address touching on the balkanization of the Birmingham Metropolitan Area into smaller municipalities.
- January 19, 2009: BJCC: Miles College President George French, Jr was the featured speaker. Special tribute was made to Abraham Woods, Jr, who died in November 2008 and to honor the inauguration of Barack Obama as President of the United States.
- January 21, 2008: BJCC: Janet Murguía, President & CEO of the National Council of LaRaza spoke on "One Community: 'Caught in an Inescapable Network of Mutuality, Tied in a Single Garment of Destiny!'"
- 2007: BJCC: Former New York Times executive editor Howell Raines spoke on “A Great Revolution: Continuing the Struggle.”
- January 16, 2006: BJCC: Federal judge U. W. Clemon spoke.
- 2005: BJCC: Historian Wayne Flynt spoke on "Uniting to Complete the Unfinished Agenda in Civil and Human Rights."
- 2004: BJCC: Birmingham mayor Bernard Kincaid
- 2003: BJCC: King Center director Vincent Harding spoke on "The Full Vision and Way of Dr Martin Luther King, Jr"
- 2001: BJCC: Civil Rights leader Fred Shuttlesworth
- 1998: featured the first public reading of the Birmingham Pledge
- 1986: Relay House in the Bank for Savings Building. Federal judge U. W. Clemon spoke on "Martin Luther King’s Message for Humanity."
 External links
- MLK Unity Breakfast website