Dr. King Civil Rights Cohort Launches New National Campaign in Birmingham



For More Information Contact:

Vickii Howell, Avant Media Communications

Phone: (205) 566-3131

Email: vickii@avantmediacom.com


Dr. King Civil Rights Cohort Launches New National Campaign in Birmingham

Economic Advancement as the Freedom Movement’s Next Phase


(Birmingham, AL  March 30) – Dr. Virgil A. Wood, a co-laboring minister with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for 10 years during the Civil Rights Movement, arrives in Birmingham April 12-13 to launch a renewed campaign to complete Dr. King’s unfinished work.

Dr. Wood has called a two-day convocation, “Remembrance & Re-Dedication:  The 2013 Civil Rights Jubilee Celebration,” to begin crafting an economic plan that affirmatively addresses poverty and the resulting social ills that disproportionately plague the African American community.

As the Movement progressed into the late 1960s, Dr. King began laying out an anti-poverty agenda with the help of fellow ministers, including Dr. Wood. But that phase of the national Movement essentially died with Dr. King, who was assassinated in Memphis on April 4, 1968.

Since that time, Dr. Wood has worked tirelessly toward completing that agenda. He continued his education in economics at Harvard University and worked with other Movement ministers who soldiered on after Dr. King and built effective economic strategies. Dr. Wood is now poised to bring all the pieces of the puzzle together in a first national push, launching Fulfilling the Unfulfilled Dream Campaign to renew the process that King started before his death.

“For some time, we’ve been getting together with people around the country who are solving some part of the poverty dilemma,” Dr. Wood says. “We’ve just been waiting for some catalyzing factor that brings us all together to free the dream of leaving scarcity behind and reaching for abundance, for African Americans and for all people.”

The convocation comes as the City of Birmingham commemorates the 50th Anniversary of its pivotal role in the Civil Rights Movement in 1963, where thousands of non-violent protestors were arrested, including children and Dr. King himself. In April 1963, Dr. King penned his famous “Letter from Birmingham Jail” to ministers critical of the mass demonstrations in Birmingham.

The event opens with a church-style celebration and features Dr. Bryan Stevenson, President and Founder of the Equal Justice Institute in Montgomery and Rev. Dr. Aaron Dobynes, Former Pastor Tabernacle Baptist Church, Selma. The second day includes a panel of thinkers and activists in areas including social justice, economics, community building, medicine and law who will discuss ways to begin the national economic movement.

Dr. Wood’s convocation comes in advance of a two-day symposium, also in Birmingham, by the interfaith organization Christian Churches Together in the U.S.A. The organization will release an updated response to Dr. King’s “Letter.” Dr. Wood is among the featured speakers, including long-time civil rights activists Dorothy Cotton and U.S. Rep. John Lewis, and the Rev. Bernice King, daughter of Dr. King.

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The Details:


REMEMBRANCE & RE-DEDICATION: The 2013 Civil Rights Jubilee Convocation

In Honor of the 50th Anniversary of the 1963 Birmingham Movement

Epicenter of the Modern Civil & Human Rights Movement Worldwide

Location: First United Presbyterian Church of Forestdale

1375 Tomahawk Road, Birmingham, 35214


Friday Evening, April 12, 2013, 7:00 PM

Speakers Include

-Mr. Bryan Stevenson, President and Founder

Equal Justice Institute, Montgomery

-Rev. Dr. Aaron Dobynes, Former Pastor

Tabernacle Baptist Church, Selma



Economic Advancement as the Next Phase of the Freedom Movement



Saturday Morning, April 13, 2013

Morning Session 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.


The Black Church: An Economic Harvest

A call-to-action for clergy to formulate a strategy to grow black businesses by connecting them to the massive economic harvest of the church


Guest Speakers

Dr. Virgil A. Wood

Sephira Shuttlesworth, Widow of the Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth

Panel Discussion Featuring:

Rev. James Ephraim, First United Presbyterian Church of Forestdale

Hezekiah Jackson, IV, Birmingham Metro NAACP

Rev. Dr. Jonathan McPherson, Chairman of the Board, Birmingham SCLC

Rev. Dr. Michael Wesley, Sr. Greater Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church

Rev. Dr. Thomas Wilder, Bethel Baptist Church

Bishop Theo Bailey, Christ Temple Deliverance Church

[NOTE: This session takes place at Sixth Avenue Baptist Church, 1101 Martin Luther King Dr. S.W.]

Afternoon Session 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

“Freeing the Dream” Power Paper by Dr. Virgil A. Wood

A Blueprint for A Six-Dimensional Framework To Fix What’s Broken in Am-African Communities (How Rev. Shuttlesworth and A.G. Gaston Answered the Question)


Why The Economic Harvest Can’t Wait: Building A Stronger Economic Base

Panel Discussion featuring:

Dr. Greg Bailey – Minister, Economist, and Attorney

Ms Catherine Coleman-Flowers – Equal Justice Institute

Dr. Lonnie Hannon – Professor, Tuskegee University

Ms Gwen Austin – Professor, Miles College

Rev. Samuel Collins, III – Galveston, Texas, Juneteenth Leader

Mr. Bernard A. Sewell, Senior Deacon, Dexter King Memorial Baptist Church

Bishop Don Williams, Bread For The World, Washington, D.C.

Ms Shirley Cherry, Martin Luther King Parsonage Museum, Montgomery

Dr. Owen C. Cardwell, Jr., New Jubilee, Richmond, Virginia

Mr. Joel Slack, Respect International, Montgomery (Invited)

Mr. Fred Stawitz, Restoration Jubilee, Houston

World Café 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Where Now Do We Go From Here?

Community Discussion with Moderator Rev. Russell Meyers, Executive Director, Florida Council of Churches




For more details about the convocation or to schedule an interview with Dr. Virgil Wood or any of the featured speakers mentioned in this release, please contact


Vickii Howell

Managing Partner

Avant Media Communications

Phone: 205-566-3131

Alternate Email: vickii.howell@gmail.com


For more details about the Christian Churches Together U.S.A. symposium, Response to Dr. King’s “Letter

From Birmingham Jail” on April 14-15 in Birmingham, contact:


Rev. Carlos L. Malavé
Executive Director
Christian Churches Together U.S.A.
Phone: 502.415.2665

Email: carlosmalave@cctusa.net