Rev. Dr. Lewis Baldwin keynotes celebration of Dr. King’s lasting, inspiring legacy

For Immediate Release
Thu, 12/01/2011


John Amundsen

CHICAGO – The Rev. Dr. Lewis V. Baldwin, professor of religious studies at Vanderbilt University, will keynote the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Sunrise Celebration during the American Library Association’s (ALA) 2012 Midwinter Meeting in Dallas. The Celebration will be held from 6:30-7:30 a.m. Monday, Jan. 23, 2012.

Dr. Baldwin has written and edited several books, including his latest, “’Thou Dear God’: Prayers That Open Hearts and Spirits” (Beacon, 2011), the first and only collection of 68 prayers by Dr. King. His other titles include “Toward the Beloved Community: Martin Luther King, Jr. and South Africa” (Pilgrim Press, 1995), “To Make the Wounded Whole: The Cultural Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.” (Augsburg Fortress, 1992) and “There is a Balm in Gilead: The Cultural Roots of Martin Luther King, Jr.” (Augsburg Fortress, 1991). Dr. Baldwin’s acclaimed work has won the American Theological Library Association Award and the Midwest Book Achievement Award of the Midwest Independent Publishers Association.  An ordained Baptist minister, Dr. Baldwin came of age during the Civil Rights and Black Power eras. He participated in student demonstrations and other civil rights activities while attending college, experiences that would profoundly influence his work as a historian, author and professor. Dr. Baldwin’s participation in the 2012 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Sunrise Celebration is made possible through the generous support of Beacon Press and Random House, Inc. 

The theme of the 2012 celebration will be “Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: Honoring a Legacy that Still Inspires” and will bring together leaders from the across the association, including 2011-12 ALA President Molly Raphael and ALA Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels. Featured readings will include selections from the works of Dr. King.

The program is sponsored by the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Task Force of the ALA Social Responsibilities Round Table (SRRT) and the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA) and is supported by the ALA Office for Literacy and Outreach Services (OLOS).

Light refreshments will be served thanks to the generous sponsorship of World Book, Inc. Attendance is open to all attendees of the 2012 ALA Midwinter Meeting. For more information, please visit

The ALA Social Responsibilities Round Table (SRRT) is a unit within the American Library Association. It works to make ALA more democratic and to establish progressive priorities not only for the Association, but also for the entire profession. Concern for human and economic rights was an important element in the founding of SRRT and remains an urgent concern today. SRRT believes that libraries and librarians must recognize and help solve social problems and inequities in order to carry out their mandate to work for the common good and bolster democracy. SRRT’s main website is hosted at

The Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA), an affiliate of the American Library Association, serves as an advocate for the development, promotion, and improvement of library services and resources to the nation's African American community; and provides leadership for the recruitment and professional development of African American librarians.  To learn more about BCALA, please visit

Beacon Press is an independent publisher of serious non-fiction and fiction. Beacon’s books often change the way readers think about fundamental issues; they promote such values as freedom of speech and thought; diversity, religious pluralism, and anti-racism; and respect for diversity in all areas of life.  Beacon Press is partnering with the Estate of Martin Luther King Jr. in a new publishing program, "The King Legacy," to print new editions of previously published King titles and compile Dr. King's writings, sermons, orations, lectures, and prayers into entirely new editions, including significant new introductions by leading scholars.  To learn more about Beacon Press, please visit

World Book sets the standard in publishing accurate, current, and reliable reference and learning materials for children and adults. Based in Chicago, World Book is committed to creating educational products that meet the highest standards of editorial excellence in print and online. This commitment has resulted in a wide range of products including the number-one selling The World Book Encyclopedia and the World Book Web, which is the most comprehensive and authoritative online solution to meet the diverse learning needs of students and includes the World Book Online Reference Center,, World Book Kids, and World Book Advanced.