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Martin Luther King Legacy Week Events Start Jan. 12

*Los Angeles, CA  – On King Holiday, Monday, January 18, 2016, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Southern California (SCLC-SC) will hold their annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Awards & Benefit Gala in the Grand Ballroom at the Sheraton Gateway Hotel in Los Angeles.

“This year’s King Legacy Awards recipients reflect excellence in promoting equality and justice in the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,” said Honorary Chairperson Matthew M. Johnson, Esq., President of the LA Police Commission and Managing Partner, Ziffren Brittenham LLP, “I’m excited to be a part of such a prestigious event that supports the mission of continuing to uphold and expand Dr. King’s dream.”

Hosted by actor William Allen Young of CBS drama, “Code Black,” the theme of the evening is ‘Bending the Arc & Breaking Barriers.’

“We are attempting to involve more programs and people from a cross section of the community, because that is how Dr, King lived” said Pastor William D. Smart Jr., President/CEO of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Southern California.  “As we rebuild the movement it takes all of us participating and working together.”

The 2016 SCLC-SC King Legacy Awards honorees are: Cheryl Boone Isaacs, President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences; DeVon Franklin, best-selling author and President/CEO of Sony Studios-based Franklin Entertainment; Ken Maxey,Comcast Director of External Affairs, California Region; and Charisse Bremond Weaver, President/CEO of the Brotherhood Crusade.

martin luther king holiday

Martin King Holiday, Monday, January 18, 2016, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Southern California (SCLC-SC) will hold their annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Awards & Benefit Gala in the Grand Ballroom at the Sheraton Gateway Hotel in Los Angeles.

Cheryl Boone Isaacs, made history when she became the first African-American President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (AMPAS).  Cheryl will receive the Rosa Parks Humanitarian Award.

This award is presented to an individual or group, who like Rosa Parks, inspires others and leads in the task of bridge building and creating relationships of mutuality and respect while achieving strategic movement forward.

AMPAS, with a membership composed of nearly 6,000 motion picture industry professionals and craftsmen, is widely known for its televised annual Academy Awards ceremony at which “Oscars” are given for cinematic excellence.

Cheryl was serving as the board’s vice president when she was elected for a one-year term as president of AMPAS on July 30, 2013, thus becoming only the third woman and the first African American to hold that position in the 86-year history of the academy.  She was recently elected for a third term.

DeVon Franklin, best-selling author and President/CEO of Sony Studios-based Franklin Entertainment will receive the Rev. Thomas Kilgore, Jr. Prophetic Witness Award.  This award is presented to an individual or organization, who like Dr. Kilgore effectively promotes and embodies the ideas of Dr. King in both the sacred and secular communities.

As a producer, a published author, a preacher and media personality, DeVon is using the power of entertainment to bring inspiration and motivation to the masses.  Ebony Magazine has name him one of the top 100 influential African-Americans in America and Beliefnet named him one of “Most Influential Christians Under 40.”

Ken Maxey, Comcast Director of External Affairs, California Region will receive the Emerging Leader Award which is given to a rising leader with a strong commitment to community, and displays characteristics Dr. King demonstrated.

In his role at Comcast, Ken coordinates with local government representatives to advocate on behalf of progressive telecommunications policies at the state and local level.  Mr. Maxey is active on many boards, committees and councils in both the San Francisco Bay and Greater Los Angeles Areas.

He is a Co-founder of New Leaders Council – Los Angeles and Progress for a New Generation – CA.

Charisse Bremond-Weaver, President/CEO of the Brotherhood Crusade is being honored with the Chairman’s Award.  This Award is presented for leadership and perseverance in applying the nonviolent philosophy of Dr. King toward the achievement of human relations and civil rights goals.

Under the leadership and direction of Charisse Bremond Weaver, Brotherhood Crusade is building up the lives of California’s youth by providing the love, mentoring and skills they need to thrive.

Leading up to the Legacy Awards & Benefit Gala is a full week of events to recognize the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr:

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The SCLC-SC King Legacy Week kicks off on Tuesday, January 12 with the final round of the SCLC-SC Emerging Leaders’ Youth Essay/Oratorical and Art Contest at Holman United Methodist Church.  The top six finalists will present their speeches on the theme “Bending the Arc and Breaking Barriers for Justice in the 2016 Presidential Election.”

The contest is open to all Southern California middle and high school students, with the finalists receiving cash prizes. The contest entry deadline is December 23, 2015.  Applications and contest rules can be found at

Wednesday, January 13, 2016 

In homage to Dr. King’s commitment to citizen participation at all levels of government, Wednesday, January 13 is designated as SCLC-SC/Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Civic
Engagement Day, which will include a voter registration drive.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

MLK Legacy Awards & Benefit Gala honoree DeVon Franklin is the keynote speaker at the Annual SCLC-SC Interfaith Prayer Breakfast.  The event is open to all faiths and will be held at the historic Holman United Methodist Church, where Dr. King often spoke. Holman’s Pastor Emeritus is civil rights legend Rev. James Lawson.

Tickets are $25 in advance, and $30 at the door.  Breakfast begins at 8:00 a.m.  Visit for more information and to purchase tickets.

Friday, January 15, 2016

On Friday, January 15—the actual birthdate of Dr. King—an original stage play, “Martin: Duty Calls,” will have its only Los Angeles performance at West Angeles Church of God in Christ.  The play depicts the story of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., from the initial bus boycott support of Rosa Parks in 1955 to his death in 1968.

A post event audience discussion of the challenges and successes, as well as the price of answering the call will take place immediately afterwards. For information on the play visit  This event is free to the public.

Saturday, January 16, 2016 

On Saturday, January 16 at 7:30 pm, the acclaimed Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles (ICYOLA) under the direction of esteemed composer and conductor, Charles Dickerson III will hold a free concert: “A Celebration of the Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr” at Holman United Methodist Church. The ICYOLA consists of approximately sixty middle, high school and college students, primarily of African-American descent.

Sunday, January 17, 2016 

In honor of Dr. King’s calling as minister, as well as his embracing and generating of interfaith alliances, the SCLC-SC is asking all religions, denominations and creeds to recognize Dr. King in their respective services held during Friday, January 15 (his day of birth) through Sunday, January 17.

 Monday, January 18, 2016 

The King Legacy Week Festival culminates on King Holiday, Monday, January 18, 2016 with the popular Annual Kingdom Day Parade which will be held in the morning.  Presented by Congress of Racial Equality, California (CORE-CA), the SCLC-SC is a parade partner.

The SCLC-SC King Legacy Awards Gala takes place in the Grand Ballroom of the Sheraton Gateway Hotel, Los Angeles beginning with a VIP reception at 5p.m., followed by dinner and program at 6p.m. Tickets are $200 and available at, that also features opportunities for benefit gala sponsorships and ads.

For more information regarding the SCLC-SC King Legacy Week Festival and the SCLC-SC King Legacy Awards & Benefit Gala send an email to: [email protected] Or call the SCLC-SC Information Line:  (213) 268-3082




Zabrina Horton
[email protected]