Naomi Barber King, mother of Priests for Life’s Dr. Alveda King, will be among the honorees Friday at the fourth annual Women’s Equality Day Celebration. The organization Women Flying High will present the awards during a National Women’s Leadership Roundtable Conversation from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the Capital Hilton in Washington, D.C.
Mrs. King is the widow of the Rev. A.D. King, a civil rights leader and the brother of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. She is a crusader in the battle to save African-American babies from abortion.
Mrs. King’s commitment to life began when she changed her mind about aborting her daughter, Dr. Alveda King, who is now the full-time director of African-American Outreach for Priests for Life.
“My father-in-law, Martin Luther King Sr., told me he had a vision of my child and he wanted to meet the baby girl in his vision,” Mrs. King said.
At the age of 37, Mrs. King was left a widow with five children following the untimely death of her husband, who was a prominent civil rights leader in his own right.
“God gave me the strength to do all I had to after that,” said the soft-spoken Atlanta resident.
Former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Clark Franklin, the first female mayor of a major southern city, will lead the conversation, whose topics will include female power in the voting booth.
In recognition of the historic unveiling of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial on Sunday, Women Flying High chose to honor women who, like Mrs. King, have served on the board and staff of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, where Dr. King served as president. Posthumous honorees include: Ella Baker, Coretta Scott King, Dr. Dorothy Irene Height, Rosa Parks, Ella Mae Brayboy, Dora McDonald and Claudette Matthews.
Other honorees include Dr. Evelyn G. Lowery, Juanita Abernathy, Annette Steele, Yolanda Grier Creecy, Dr. Christine King Farris, Rev. Bernice King, Dr. Sylvia Tucker, Carolyn Young, Dorothy Cotton, Xernona Clayton, Rita Samuels, Lula Williams, Cleo Orange, Kaye Jackson, Diane Nash, Doris Crenshaw, Brenda Davenport, Felicia Davis, Roberta Abdul-Salam and Melanie Campbell.
Women’s Equality Day also will recognize outstanding women’s organizations and programs benefitting women including: the National Council of Negro Women, the Congressional Women’s Caucus, the National Women's Chamber of Commerce, National Political Black Women’s Congress, SCLC W.O.M.E.N, The White House Council on Women & Girls, First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move Initiative, the Black Women's Roundtable, and Women Flying High partner organization The Georgia Coalition of Black Women, for work on behalf of women’s advancement.
Dr. Alveda King said her mother is well-deserving of the honor.
“My mother is a woman of courage, commitment, compassion and indomitable strength,” she said. “I am so proud to be her daughter.”
Priests for Life is the nation's largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit www.priestsforlife.org.