Joy-Ann Reid to Keynote MLK Day 2020


31st Annual event celebrates the life, legacy and impact of Dr. King and Nashville’s role in the Civil Rights movement

(Download Press Release – pdf)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (JANUARY 8, 2020) – The Interdenominational Ministers Fellowship (IMF) is honored once again to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Monday, January 20, 2020 during its 31st annual Youth Rally, March and Convocation. This year’s featured keynote is the award-winning, MSNBC political analyst, Joy-Ann Reid of the weekly broadcast “A.M. Joy.” The theme is: ‘We Are The Ones We Have Been Waiting For.’

Each year, thousands join in a week of activities prior to the national observance of MLK Day, in order to honor the life and legacy of Dr. King. Events culminate with the annual Youth Rally and March – starting at the historic Jefferson Street Missionary Baptist Church – leading participants to the convocation, which will be held at Tennessee State University’s Gentry Center.

“We are always excited to bring people together from across the country to honor and commemorate the life and mission of Dr. King,” said Joy Styles, Chair of the 2020 MLK Day celebration and Nashville Metro Councilwoman – District 32. “The work is not over, and we can only achieve the dream if we all work together. Part of that work is sharing the history of Nashville’s pivotal role in the Civil Rights movement, in many ways. As one of the oldest MLK Day celebrations and the host of the longest running commemorative march in the nation, our events are not only a wonderful tribute to Dr. King’s time in Music City, but also a call to action to continue working towards an equitable future.”

Activities include:

  • January 15, 2020 – MLK Labor Breakfast – a partnership between IMF the Central Labor Council of Nashville and Middle TN, the TN AFL-CIO, as well as the TN human Rights Commission. This event will be held at Cabana Restaurant (1910 Belcourt Ave) and will feature Gloria Sweet-Love, NAACP Tennessee State Conference Director as keynote.
  • January 16, 2020 – Women of Faith – a social justice panel moderated by Harriet Wallace of FOX17 News. Panelists include Rev. Dr. Teresa Smallwood, Associate Director at Vanderbilt Divinity School; Rev. Lisa Hammonds, Pastor at St. John AME Church of Nashville; Aisha Lbhalla, Chair of the Muslim Women’s Council School; Rabbi Shana Goldstein Mackler, Rabbi at the temple Ohabai Sholom of Nashville; and Sarah Wilke, Executive Director of the Scarritt Bennett Center. It will be held in the Harambe Room of the Scarritt Bennett Center.
  • January 18, 2020 – Youth Symposium – a variety of Teach In workshops including Show Up & Show Out: Your Vote Matters, Organizing Your Activism, Funding Your Movement, Know Your Rights?, and Doing it for the Culture: The Importance of Art in Activism. Presenters include AJ Starling of the Davidson County Election Commission, Rasheedat Fetuga of Gideon’s Army, Lauren Fitzgerald of the Metro Arts Commission, Sheila Calloway – a juvenile court judge, and DJ Eno and his team. This event will take place at the Avon Williams TSU campus.
  • January 19, 2020 – Worship Night – with keynote speaker Dr. J. Lawrence Turner of Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church. The senior pastor will be joined by the Mississippi Blvd. Mass Choir. This event will be held at Fifteenth Avenue Baptist Church (1203 9th Ave N).
  • January 20, 2020 – National MLK Day Observance
      • Youth Rally & March – 8:30a.m. at Jefferson Street MBC

    Convocation – 11:00a.m. at Tennessee State University’s Gentry Center

Participants in the day’s activities include state and local officials – including Governor Bill Lee, Mayor John Cooper, Senator Jim Cooper, Metro Council Members, Dr. Adrienne Battle, area university and college presidents, along with many other local leaders.

“The IMF is more than thrilled to have Joy-Ann Reid this year and we are looking forward to her perspective on the legacy that Dr. King left for us to continue,” said Rev. James C. Turner, II president of IMF. “As a leader in the journalism field, it is ideal to hear from her perspective when freedom of speech has been tested among her profession. This national holiday is a ‘day on,’ not a ‘day off’ to serve, celebrate and commemorate the important work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Ms. Reid will bring a powerful view of today’s view of the work done and that which has yet to be accomplished.”