Past Speakers

1986 Paul Smith

1987 Dorothy Cotton

1988 Judge Sandra Townes & Judge Langston McKinney

1989 Andrew Young

1990 Harry Belafonte

1991 Bernard Watson

1992 Johnetta Cole: Serving the Community

1993 Charles Willie

1994 Julian Bond: Together We Face Tomorrow

1995 Charlayne Hunter-Gault

1996 Derrick A. Bell, Jr.: Moving Forward: Activism and Civic Responsibility

1997 Mary Frances Berry: Teaching the Difference: Social Justice and Activism

1998 Kweisi Mfume: Empowering Our Youth

1999 Andrew Young: Passing the Torch to the Next Millennium

2000 Lani Guinier: Affirming King’s Vision

2001 Cornel West: Lift Every Voice – A Call to Courage, Hope and Struggle

2002 Randall Robinson: The Debt: What We Owe the Dream

2003 Suzan-Lori Parks: Walking Together: Past, Present, Future

2004 Geoffrey Canada: Planting a Seed; Growing the Dream

2005 Ruth Simmons: The King Legacy in the Soul of Our Community

2006 Charles J. Ogletree, Jr.: All Deliberate Speed; The Dream Deferred?

2007 Chris Abani: The Beloved Community: Imagining Our Global Humanity

2008 Barbara Ransby: King’s Challenge: Can We Live Peacefully in a Violent World?

2009 Eddie S. Glaude, Jr.: Dare to Imagine a Better World

2010 Gwen Ifill: Continuing the Journey: Where do we go from here?

2011 Kirt Wilson: Heirs of the King: Remembering and Continuing the Work of Global Legacy

2012 Dave Bing: A Living Legacy: The Fierce Urgency of Now

2013 Roslyn Brock: Yesterday’s Dream, Tomorrow’s Promise

2014 Freeman Hrabrowski: Pursuing the Dream: Above All Odds

2015 Michele Norris: Remember. Celebrate. Act

2016 Marc Lamont Hill: Activism and Agency for the Future

2017 JR Martinez: Injustice Anywhere is a Threat to Justice Everywhere

2018 Angela Rye: From Intention to Impact

2019 Trevor Noah: The Global Impact of Civil Rights

2020 Rev. Raphael Warnock: A Living Legacy