Family-Placed Death Notice
Yolanda Denise King, eldest daughter of the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King, passed away on May 15th in Santa Monica, California. She was an actress, author, producer, advocate for peace and nonviolence, who was known and loved for her motivational and inspirational contributions to society, Ms. King's innovative lecture-performances were experienced throughout the United States as well as in Europe, Africa and Asia. She was co-creator of a book entitled Open My Eyes, Open My Soul, which reflected her commitment to raise awareness and enhance understanding about the importance of diversity. Her commitment to personal empowerment was also evidenced in the Higher Ground Productions publishing of Embracing Your Power in 30 Days, a step by step, daily tool for personal growth based on her very personal experiences, co-authored by Ms. King and Wanda Marie.After receiving a B.A. degree with honors from Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, King moved to New York to earn her Masters degree in Theatre at New York University. During this time, she directed and performed in productions in New York and the Tri-State area. She honed her teaching skills while working with young people at the King Center for Non-Violent Social Change. Ms. King premiered her theatrical production "Achieving the Dream" where she portrayed several characters in the movement for civil rights during the Olympics in Atlanta. As a seasoned and respected actor, many of King's stage, television and film credits reflected her commitment to social change and included portrayals of Rosa Parks in the NBC-TV movie "King," Dr. Betty Shabazz in the film "Death of a Prophet" with Morgan Freeman, and Medgar Ever's daughter, Reena, in "Ghosts of Mississippi" directed by Rob Reiner.King's speaking accomplishments included presentations at Fortune 500 corporations; religious and civic events; educational and professional conferences, and universities. Sharing her message on the importance of embracing diversity and our common humanity, she sounded the call from the halls of the United Nations to venues in Moscow and Munich. King was acclaimed for her ability to inspire people from all walks of life to reach higher ground; to motivate people to move forward, and to empower people to make a difference.King was honored with numerous presentations, awards and citations by organizations around the country and was named one of the Outstanding Young Women of America. She was a member of the Board of Directors of the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, Inc. (the official national memorial to Dr. King) and was founding Director of the King Center's Cultural Affairs Program. She served on the Partnership Council of Habitat for Humanity, was a member of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, a sponsor of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom and held a lifetime membership in the N.A.A.C.P.Ms. King is survived by a sister, Bernice A. King; two brothers, Martin Luther King III, Dexter Scott King and a loving extended family, staff, and friends. A Celebration of Life Service for Yolanda D. King will be held on Thursday May 24th High Noon (12:00) at Ebenezer Baptist Church, Horizon Sanctuary, 407 Auburn Ave., Atlanta, GA. Rev. Dr. Raphael G. Warnock, Pastor. Final arrangements entrusted to Willie A. Watkins Funeral Home, (Family Owned & Operated), 1003 Ralph David Abernathy Boulevard, Atlanta GA, 404-758-1731. A Candelight Memorial Service will be held on Thursday May 31st, 7:00 p.m. at Faithful Central Bible Church, The Tabernacle; Englewood, California
Published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution from May 18 to May 23, 2007
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