Rev. Eric Lee
By Tonya E. Durrell
Sentinel Religion Writer
The Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Greater Los Angeles (SCLC/LA) and the Martin Luther King Legacy Association hosted its 34th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dinner and Celebration on Monday, January 17óthe day which marked the national holiday for the slain, world-renown civil rights leader.
Held at the Sheraton Gateway Los Angles Hotel, ABC 7 News anchors Marc Brown and Michelle Tuzee served as master and mistress of ceremonies. The keynote speaker was U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California, Andre Birotte Jr. He is the first African-American to hold the office.
Birotte was bestowed with the eveningís top honorsóthe Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Award. Other awards included: Drum Major Award–Michael A. Lawson, Attorney and Mattie McFadden-Lawson, Philanthropist; Presidentís AwardóHonorable Mike Davis, Los Angeles 48th District Assemblymember; Thomas Kilgore, Jr. Prophetic Witness AwardóGeorge E. Hurtt, Senior Pastor-Teacher, Mt. Sinai Missionary Baptist Church; and the Rosa Parks AwardóRev. Dr. Iyanla Vanzant, Author, Spiritual Teacher, Motivational Speaker and Founder of Inner Visions Spiritual Life Maintenance Center.
Entertainment for the gala was provided by the ìSai Whatt Band.î Guests were also treated to a silent auction. The annual event is the primary fundraiser for SCLC/LA programs. There are three critical components as part of that programming: the Entrepreneurial Economic Justice Initiative, Education Reform Initiative and the Youth Political Leadership Initiative.
ìWe are always inspired by this event, and this year is no different. Celebrating the legacy of modern history’s most selfless civil rights leader–Dr. King, is very gratifying. I am very proud of the work SCLC/LA is doing and relish these times to†showcase our accomplishments with†supporters and the communities we serve,” said President and CEO of SCLC of Greater Los Angeles, Eric P. Lee.
Founded in February 1957 on the heels of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, SCLC is a non-violent civil rights organization focused on achieving social, economic, and political justice for all. Dr. King served as the organizationís president from 1957 until his death in 1968.
SCLC of Greater Los Angeles has as its mission to promote the philosophy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., of non-violent progressive social change through the continued advocacy of justice for all people.
ìSouthern Christian Leadership Conference of Greater Los Angeles will always struggle against unemployment and housing discrimination, substandard health and human services and police misconduct. SCLC/LA is committed to this vision and the Greater Los Angeles community, ìcommented Lee.