CINCINNATI - As part of its ongoing mission to engage the community in dialogue that creates positive social change, Union Institute & University (UI&U) will host the biannual Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Luncheon, Saturday, January 8, from noon – 1:30 p.m., at the Kingsgate Marriot in Clifton. Distinguished theologian, pastor, and civic leader Reverend Dr. Otis Moss Jr., a former pastor at the Mount Zion Baptist Church in Lockland who also served as co-pastor with Reverend Martin Luther King, Sr. at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, will serve as this year’s keynote speaker.
The annual MLK Luncheon is an integral part of the university’s MLK Studies specialization within the Ph.D. program and is held in conjunction with each Ph.D. residency in Cincinnati. UI&U MLK scholars and faculty locally and from across the country, including Rev. Dr. Virgil Wood, who collaborated with the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. to coordinate the State of Virginia in the historic March on Washington, will join members of community groups including the MLK Coalition of Greater Cincinnati and the African American Chamber of Commerce to explore how King’s work can best be applied in today’s society.
“Having two heroes of the civil rights movement – the Reverend Dr. Otis Moss and the Reverend Dr. Virgil Wood – join us and enlighten us at our MLK luncheon is a testament to the important work our MLK scholars are doing in their communities,” said Dr. Roger H. Sublett, president of Union Institute & University. “It is an honor to have Dr. King’s colleagues here in Cincinnati.”
Cohort Ph.D. learner Jenny Laster, director of the Urban League of Greater Cincinnati’s African-American Leadership Development program is one of several MLK scholars who will be present at the luncheon. “As a King scholar, I can share what I have learned with others, as well as formalize my study of the work of Dr. King,” said Laster. “Becoming a true MLK scholar means that I can inspire others to make his mission and vision a reality, for there is much work that needs to be done.”
About Reverend Dr. Otis Moss
Keynote speaker Rev. Dr. Otis Moss has been actively involved in advocating for the achievement of education, civil and human rights and social justice issues all of his adult life. He served as an advisor to President Jimmy Carter at Camp David and in 1994 he was the special guest of President Bill Clinton at the peace treaty signing between Israel and Jordan.
Recently, Rev. Dr. Moss served on President Obama’s White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnership Council. In 2009, he co-lectured with Rajmohan Gandhi, the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, during a multi-city tour of India illuminating the work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi.
Rev. Dr. Moss is the recipient of numerous awards including the Role Model of the Year Award from the National Institute for Responsible Fatherhood and Family Development in 1992. In 2004, he was bestowed the unique honor of the Lyman Beecher Lectureship on Preaching at Yale University, and in 2007 he was inducted into the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame. Recently, dormitory suites at Morehouse College were named in his honor.
A longtime Cleveland resident and active in the Cleveland community, Rev. Dr. Moss helped establish the Otis Moss, Jr. University Hospitals Health Center that today offers a wide range of medical services to the greater Cleveland community. In 2008, he retired from Cleveland’s Olivet Institutional Baptist Church after 33 years of distinguished service.
Rev. Dr. Moss has been featured in several publications and national broadcasts. He was twice named by Ebony Magazine as one of America’s Greatest Black Preachers and appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show to discuss current trends in religion.
“The MLK Scholars program is attracting community leaders from across the country seeking to make Dr. King’s dream a reality,” said Dr. Nancy Boxill, Fulton County, Georgia commissioner, UI&U alumna, and coordinator of UI&U’s Martin Luther King Jr. Specialization. “The MLK Luncheon is an important event not only for UI&U learners but also for the Cincinnati community. This is truly education in action.”
The MLK Legacy Luncheon takes place Saturday, January 8, from noon-1:30 p.m., at the Kingsgate Marriott, 151 Goodman Drive in Clifton. For more information about the MLK Legacy Luncheon or the UI&U MLK Studies specialization please contact Nicole Hamilton, UI&U Public Relations Manager, at 513-487-1194 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.