Journalist Yamiche Alcindor Delivers 2020 MLK Lecture Keynote Address

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For the past decade, Georgia Tech has commemorated the life and work of Martin Luther King Jr. through its annual MLK Celebration.

The 2020 series of events themed, “The Beloved Community 2020: Activism and the Fierce Urgency of Now,” will feature more than a dozen campus and community events -- some in partnership with the King Center in Atlanta.

Journalist Yamiche Alcindor gave the keynote address at the campus' Ninth Annual MLK Lecture January 15, on what would have been King’s 91st birthday.

“Martin Luther’s King Jr.’s message is one that was born right here in Georgia,” Alcindor opened, in acknowlegment of King's birthplace in Atlanta. “With that in mind, I feel like I’m greeting you on sacred ground.”

Alcindor, the White House correspondent for PBS NewsHour and a political contributor to NBC News and MSNBC, spoke about life purpose and identity to a crowd of more than 400 faculty, staff, students, and campus guests.

She also spoke earlier in the day to an HTS class on campus.

“Now, of course the theme of today’s address is 'The Beloved Community 2020: Activism and the Fierce Urgency of Now.' But, those last words – ‘the fierce urgency of now’ – Dr. King’s own words, speak very clearly to me.”

Archie Ervin, vice president for Institute Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, said during the event, “The term ‘beloved community’ was first coined in the 20th century by philosopher and theologian Josiah Royce. Dr. King popularized the term, where he envisioned a community where people of all races, creeds, colors, and nationalities could live and work together in peace and harmony.”

Alcindor’s remarks also challenged attendees to continue the legacy of King through activism and awareness.

“Dr. King said ‘The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.’ This quote reminds me that journalism must be a medium where we continue to dig into issues such as race and justice and ask tough questions.”

To learn more about the 2020 MLK Celebration series, visit




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