The Gustavus campus is preparing to host this year’s Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Lecture speaker Donzaleigh Abernathy.
The lecture will take place from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Monday, January 20 of 2020 in Christ Chapel.
Born in the throes of the Civil Rights movement, Abernathy is the daughter of American Civil Rights Movement Co-Founder Rev. Dr. Ralph David and Mrs. Juanita Jones Abernathy.
Rev. Dr. Ralph David spearheaded Civil Rights initiatives alongside his close friend, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
As a child, Abernathy was a survivor of the bombing of her parents’ home and her father’s First Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama.
Abernathy and her siblings also witnessed and participated in many Civil Rights movements and marches, including the Freedom Riders, the March On Washington, the Selma to Montgomery March for “The Right to Vote” and the Chicago Housing Demonstrations.
As an adult, Abernathy is a venerated keynote speaker and activist. Abernathy has spoken at the National Association of Women Judges Annual Conference, the 2016 Democratic National Convention African American Caucus, and the Judicial Division of the American Bar Association Mid-Year Conference, among many other speaking engagements.
Aside from her speaking career, Abernathy is also an accomplished actress.
Some of the movies and shows she stars in include Warner Bros’ Civil War epic “Gods and Generals”, the Emmy and Golden Globe winning “Miss Evers Boys,” NBC’s Golden Globe nominated “The Tempest,” and NBC’s Directors Guild of America Award winning movie, “Murder in Mississippi”.
Abernathy’s upcoming oncampus lecture will be centered around her experience growing up around influential Civil Rights leaders like Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
The lecture will be followed by an open facilitated discussion in the Heritage Banquet Room in the Campus Center.