Dean’s Forum: Civil Rights and the Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Rev. Dr. Otis Moss, Jr.
Sunday, Jan. 19
Dean’s Forum: 10:10 a.m.

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: ‘What are you doing for others?’”~ The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The legacy of The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is not simply that of non-violent activism against the inherent injustice of discriminatory social systems and institutions but also the attendant need for individuals actively to engage in service to the other. His true legacy is that justice — if it is to be sustained — necessitates the active involvement of all the members of the community on behalf of the well-being of all constituents. As we have witnessed this year, legislation alone cannot assure the prevalence of justice within our society. Only we, the members of our community, can promote justice by actively and consciously attending to our relationships with one another. In the Judeo-Christian tradition this is the call to being “righteous” (i.e., establishing and living in to right relationship with the other). The Reverend Dr. Otis Moss, Jr. will preach and teach as we honor the living legacy of The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Reverend Dr. Otis Moss, Jr., theologian, pastor and civic leader, is one of America’s most influential leaders. He was born in La Grange, GA in 1935. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Morehouse College, his master of divinity degree from Morehouse School of Religion/Inter-denominational Theological Center and his doctor of ministry degree from the United Theological Seminary.

In 2008, Reverend Moss retired from Olivet Institutional Baptist Church located in Cleveland following 33 years of distinguished service. Prior to this service, he held pastoral positions at the Mount Olive Baptist Church in La Grange, GA, the Providence Baptist Church in Atlanta, GA, the Mount Zion Baptist Church in Lockland, OH and as co-pastor with the Rev. Martin Luther King, Sr. at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, GA.

Reverend Moss has been actively involved in advocating for the achievement of education, civil and human rights and social justice issues for all of his adult life. His board memberships have included The Cleveland Museum of Art and the Cleveland Foundation. Dr. Moss served as the Chairman of the Morehouse College Board of Directors for more than 10 years. He served as board member and Regional Director of SCLC during Dr. King’s tenure as founding president. He also served as national board member and trustee of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Non-violent Social Change.

His work in the international community has taken him to Hong Kong, Brazil, Taiwan, Japan, West Africa, South Africa and Israel. He served as an advisor to former President Carter at Camp David and in 1994 he was the special guest of former president Clinton at the Peace Treaty signing between Israel and Jordan. He presently serves on President Obama’s White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnership Council. In 2009, he co-lectured with Raj Mohan Gandhi, the Grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, during a multi-city tour of India illuminating the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi.

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