Bernice A. King (Be A King) is the Chief Executive Officer of The King Center, which was founded by her mother, in 1968. Nationally and internationally known as one of the most powerful, motivating and life-changing orators and speakers on the circuit today, Bernice leaves her audiences speechless and challenges people to ‘raise the standard’. Born the youngest daughter of the late Coretta Scott King and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Bernice began her oratorical journey when she spoke in her mother’s stead at the United Nations at age 17.
Bernice 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. She has also received an honorary Doctorate of Divinity degree from Wesley College. She is currently a member of the State Bar of Georgia. On January 30, 2007, the 1st year anniversary of her mother’s death, Bernice returned to her alma-mater to announce the establishment of the “Be A King Scholarship in honor of Coretta Scott King.”
With a strong concern for youth, community, and family partnership, Bernice was privileged to serve as a law clerk in the Fulton County Juvenile Court system, under Judge Glenda Hatchett, who was host of the nationally syndicated Judge Hatchett show. It was there that she 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. She 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.
Through her work at the King Center, Bernice has continued to educate youth about the Kingian Nonviolence principles modeled by her parents. In 2012, she implemented an annual N.O.W. Encounter Summer Youth Camp, which has trained youth from as far as Cyprus, Greece. She spearheaded the global events that took place in Washington, DC to commemorate the August 28, 2013, 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington and her father’s famous “I Have A Dream” speech.
In April 2008, Bernice was one of fifteen delegates selected to meet Pope Benedict XVI during his visit to the United States. She also received the “2009 Lifetime Achievement Advocate Award” from the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc. As an author, she has to her credit, her book, “Hard Questions, Heart Answers,” a compelling and inspiring book.