The Common Good

Faith leaders plan anniversary response to King's “Letter From a Birmingham Jail”

Date: April 6, 2013

Many leaders of Christian denominations from across the United States will gather in Birmingham, Ala., April 14-15, to sign a response to Martin Luther King Jr.'s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” on the 50th anniversary of the letter.

The April 14-15 event is sponsored by Christian Churches Together (CCT). The Rev. Bernice King, a minister and Martin Luther King Jr's youngest child of King, will attend and participate in a panel discussion.

Other participants will include the Rev. Carlos Malavé, executive director of CCT, the Rev. Jim Wallis, president of Sojourners; U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga.; civil rights leader Dorothy Cotton; and Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, of Louisville, Ky., vice president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

“In taking up the challenges of Martin Luther King's letter, we hope to enhance racial justice and strengthen our bonds with one another,” Archbishop Kurtz said.

Organizers said the event is intended not only to commemorate the 50th anniversary of King's letter, but to provide a long-delayed response from Christian leaders of Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox and evangelical backgrounds.

In addition to the ceremonial signing of this response and the panel discussion featuring Bernice King, the event also will include keynote presentations and responses and a prayer walk.

For more information, go to