PAST KEYNOTE SPEAKERS
2021 - The year of the Pandemic and worldwide events, including the MLK Celebration, were conducted online via Zoom. The MLK Committee invited a panel of three Sacramento leaders - Sacramento City Council Member Eric Guerra, Sacramento Urban League President Cassandra Jennings and Sacramento State President Robert S. Nelsen to participate in a discussion facilitated By Gulstan Dart, KCRA3 News Anchor.
2020 - Ruby Bridges, First African-American child to desegregate the all-white William Frantz Elementary School in Louisiana in 1960 and Civil Rights Icon.
2019 - Kenneth B. Morris, Jr., Founder & President, Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives
2018 - Lee Mun Wah, Internationally renowned Chinese American documentary filmmaker, author, poet, Asian folkteller, educator and master diversity trainer.
2017 - Rabbi Capers Funnye, Spiritual leader of Beth Shalom B’nai Zaken Ethiopian Hebrew Congregation, located in Chicago, IL
2016 - Judy and Dennis Shepard, CoFounders, Matthew Shepard Foundation
2015 - Kenneth B. Morris, Jr., Founder & President, Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives
2014 - Clayborne Carson, Professor of History, Stanford University Director, Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute
2013 - Coach Ken Carter, San Francisco Bay-area high school basketball team from doormat to powerhouse and profiled in the movie "Coach Carter"
2012 - Coach Herman Boone, Legendary coach profiled in the movie classic "Remember the Titans"
2011 - Carlotta Walls LaNier, President, Little Rock Foundation
2010 - Chris Webber, Chris Webber, President of The Chris Webber Foundation, NBA All Star and Former Sacramento King – Realizing the Dream
2009 - Colonel Lee Archer, Jr., Tuskegee Airman, First African American “Flying Ace” – Dare to Dream-All Things Are Possible
2008 - Regina Louise, Author and Child Advocate – Human Rights: Equal Justice, Equal Opportunity, Equal Dignity
2007 - Morris Dees, co-founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center – Individuals Making a Difference
2006 - Judge Bobby DeLaughter, the Hinds County District Attorney who prosecuted white supremacist Byron De La Beckwith – Genuine Brotherhood & Peace
2005 - Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, 40th Annual Voting Rights Act
2004 - Thurgood Marshall, Jr. – Brown v Board of Education
2003 - Congressman John Lewis, The Second Emancipation
2002 - Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Keep the Dream Alive
2000 & 2001 - Congressman Robert T. Matsui