IN THE SPOTLIGHT | BERNICE KING

Nationally and internationally known as one of the most powerful, motivating and life-changing orators and speakers, Bernice A. King leaves her audiences spellbound and challenged. Born the youngest daughter of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King, Bernice King began her oratorical journey when she spoke in her mothers's stead at the United Nations at age 17. Over the years, Bernice King has had the occasion to speak in Sydney, Australia, Lubeck, Germany, Argentina, and South America to name a few. In the summer of 2000, Bernice King narrated the "Lincoln Portrait" along with a symphony orchestra in Keil, Germany at the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival.

Known as Forte at the time, the group performed talent shows at church and school and eventually gained the attention of Courtney Sills and Kevin Wales, the group's would-be managers. After being brought to the attention of Sean "Puffy" Combs, the group was quickly signed in front of a local club in Atlanta called 112, which is credited to the group?s name 112. Soon afterwards they found themselves living in New York, recording their self-titled debut album. Released in 1996, the album eventually went double platinum. It featured the hit singles "Only You" and "Cupid," both of which peaked at #13 on the Hot 100 and #3 and #2 on the R&B charts respectively. The group also contributed to records by artists including Notorious B.I.G, Puff Daddy & Mase.

Bernice King is a graduate of Spelman College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and a Masters of Divinity and Doctorate of Law Degrees from Emory University. King has also received an honorary Doctorate of Divinity degree from Wesley College. She is currently a member of the State Bar of Georgia.

   With a strong concern for community and family partnership, Bernice King was privileged to serve as a law clerk in the Fulton County Juvenile Court system, under Judge Glenda Hatchett, where she interacted with troubled boys and girls. It was there that King realized that a growing number of teens have been double victims: first of society and secondly of an ineffective legal system based in retribution instead of rehabilitation. Bernice King has also served as a mentor to a group of 5th grade girls at an inner-city Atlanta elementary school, where she spent time molding their character and values so that one day they too would become a force to be reckoned with in the world. Among others community activities and services, Bernice King was instrumental in organizing coalitions to close a pornographic shop located within a mile of a local high school. She also assisted The Dow Company in building a Habitat for Humanity home in Americus, Georgia.

As an ordained preacher, Bernice King is a minister at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Georgia under the dynamic leadership of Bishop Eddie L. Long. In addition to being a speaker/orator/preacher, King has planned and organized numerous conferences, seminars and workshops for all walks of life. Bernice King has successfully coordinated non-violent conflict resolution conferences for college and university students and women and family conferences; she has conducted a class on race relations at Mississippi College in Jackson, MS and taught a year- long leadership development class at her previous church.

Bernice King has been featured on such shows as, Oprah, BET Talk with Tavis Smiley and the Judge Hachett Show to name a few and in such magazines as People Magazine, Ebony, Essence, Ladies Home Journal, Gospel Today and Charisma Magazine. This year American Legacy Magazine recognized Bernice as a "Woman of Strength and Courage." King has also guest hosted a live lunchtime television show on CNN. As an author, Bernice King has to her credit, her first book, Hard Questions, Heart Answers, a compelling and inspiring book.

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