Frederick Douglas Descendent Dr. Umar Abdullah-Johnson To Deliver M. L. King Day Keynote Address At Olivet Baptist Church

  • Thursday, January 8, 2015

The Unity Group is observing the 45th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Week Celebration Jan. 12-19.  Its theme is FOCUS 2020—Crisis in the Community, Where Do We Go From Here?

The former CEO/President of the Ochs Center for Metropolitan Studies, Dr. Ken Chilton kicks off the activities with The State of Black Chattanooga report.  Dr. Chilton is assistant professor in the College of Public Service & Urban Affairs at Tennessee State University in Nashville.


Charlotte Williams of Eastdale Village Community United Methodist Church and radio talk show host Rev. Dwight L. Harrison are the co-chairs for the week’s activities.  Former Chattanooga School Board Member Sherman Matthews is the new chairman of the Unity Group.

President Obama’s former pastor, Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright, Jr. is scheduled to address the annual prayer breakfast and Dr. Umar Abdullah-Johnson, a relative of Frederick Douglas closes the celebration with the keynote message at the main program at Olivet Baptist church on the King Holiday.

Dr. Umar evaluates children ages 3-21 in an effort to determine if they have educational disabilities and a need for special education services.  He is considered to be an expert on learning disabilities and their effect on Black children.  He specializes in working with at-risk, violent, suicidal and depressed African-American boys and girls. 

Other activities for the week include an interfaith community ecumenical worship service, a fair housing workshop, the children’s rights conference and Dr. King’s birthday party.

A memorial march and parade from Miller Park to Olivet Baptist Church is set to start at 3:30 p.m., Monday, before the main program begins.  Participants are asked to line up in the park at 2:30 p.m.  For additional information contact Sherman Matthews by phone at 426-364-3501 or email at

"The Unity Group seeks to provide a forum for addressing community concerns and individual issues through dialogue and due process channels.  King Week events examine any barriers to progress and opportunity for all, regardless of class or culture.  These activities honor the world changing actions of Dr. King and others to secure our inalienable rights of citizenship," organizers said.

Schedule of Events

Monday, January 12,  6 p.m.
The State of Black Chattanooga
The Kingdom Center 730 E M. L. King Blvd. 
Facilitator: Dr. Ken Chilton, Associate Professor, College of Public Service and Urban Affairs
TN State University Nashville, TN 

Wednesday, January 14, 9 a.m.
TCCY Children’s Right’s Conference
Second Missionary Baptist Church 2305 East Third Street
Presenter: Rosalyn Lavall-Rice, Regional Coordinator, Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth

Wednesday, January 14,  6 p.m.
Community Worship Service
Eastdale Village United Methodist Church
1406 Tunnel Boulevard
Speaker: Mrs. Terryl James
Thursday, January 15, 6 p.m.
Community Issues Fair Housing Forum
Development Resource Center
1250 Market Street
Co-Sponsored By: Chattanooga Department of Economic & Community Development and Chattanooga Office of Multicultural Affairs
 Saturday, January 17, 9 a.m.
Annual Prayer Breakfast Donation $25.00
Greater Tucker Missionary Baptist Church
1061 North Moore Road
Speaker: Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Pastor Emeritus,
Trinity United Church of God Chicago, IL
Sunday, January 18, 4 p.m.
Dr. King's Birthday Party 
The Kingdom Center 730 E M. L. King Blvd. 
Speaker: Rev. Jahmaul Williams, Atlanta, GA

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