Monday, January 6, 2014

Otis Moss Jr. to keynote KCK Martin Luther King celebration

News Release:
KANSAS CITY, KAN. ----- Addressing the theme, “Martin, Mahatma, Mandela; still paying the price for The Dream! – how long?”,  the Reverend Doctor Otis Moss, Jr., retired pastor of Olivet Institutional Baptist Church located in Cleveland, Ohio, and co-pastor with Rev. Martin Luther King, Sr., will be the keynote speaker for the 2014 Kansas City, Kansas Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Celebration at 11 a.m. on Monday, January 20th, 2014, at the Jack Reardon Civic Center located at 5th & Minnesota.

Theologian, pastor and civic leader, the Reverend Dr. Otis Moss, Jr. is one of America’s most influential leaders.  He was born in La Grange, GA.  He earned his bachelor’s degree from Morehouse College, his master of divinity degree from Morehouse School of Religion/Inter-denominational Theological Center, and his doctor of ministry degree from the United Theological Seminary.

In 2008, Reverend Moss retired from Olivet Institutional Baptist Church located in Cleveland, Ohio following thirty-three years of distinguished service.  Prior to this service, he held pastoral positions at the Mount Olive Baptist Church in La Grange, GA, the Providence Baptist Church in Atlanta, GA, the Mount Zion Baptist Church in Lockland, OH and as co-pastor with Rev. Martin Luther King, Sr. at the Ebenezer Baptist Church, Atlanta, GA.

Reverend Moss has been actively involved in advocating for the achievement of education, civil and human rights and social justice issues for all of his adult life.  His board memberships have included The Cleveland Museum of Art and the Cleveland Foundation.  Dr. Moss served as the Chairman of the Morehouse College Board of Trustees for over ten years.  He served as board member and Regional Director of SCLC during Dr. King’s tenure as founding president.  He also served as national board member and trustee of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Non-violent Social Change.

His work in the international community has taken him to Hong Kong, Brazil, Taiwan, Japan, West Africa, South Africa Israel, India and Switzerland. He served as an advisor to former President Carter at Camp David and in 1994 he was the special guest of former president Clinton at the Peace Treaty signing between Israel and Jordan.  He formally served on President Obama’s White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnership Council.  In 2009, he co-lectured with Rajmohan Gandhi, the Grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, during a multi-city tour of India illuminating the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi..

Reverend Moss is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Role Model of the Year Award from the National Institute for Responsible Fatherhood and Family Development in 1992 and the Leadership Award from the Cleveland chapter of the American Jewish Committee in 1996.   He was inducted into the 2007 Class of the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame.  In 2004, Dr. Moss was bestowed the unique honor of the Lyman Beecher Lectureship on Preaching, Yale University.  He was twice named by Ebony Magazine as one of America’s Greatest Black Preachers. In 2012 he was inducted into the Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame.  He also holds six honorary degrees from colleges and universities in Ohio, Georgia, and Arkansas.  Morehouse College recently named their newest dormitory suites in honor of Dr. Moss.  In 2012 he was inducted into the Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame.
His service to Ohio and the United States has been recognized by Governors of Ohio, the Ohio House of Representatives, Ebony Magazine, the Cleveland Press, the Call and Post, the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Black Professional Association of Cleveland, the American Red Cross of Greater Cleveland, Project Love: Remember the Children Foundation, The Cleveland Jewish Committee and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Alpha Phi Alpha, the Prince Hall Masons, Shriners and Rainbow/Push to name a few.

Dr. Moss is a life member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., and Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, to name a few.  He has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show to discuss Current Trends in Religion.  In 1997, in conjunction with University Hospitals Health System and Olivet Institutional Baptist Church, Dr. Moss provided the vision to establish the Otis Moss, Jr.-University Hospitals Health Center that offers a wide range of medical services to the greater Cleveland community.
Reverend Moss is married to Mrs. Edwina Hudson Moss and is the Father of Kevin Moss, Daphne Moss (deceased) and Otis Moss, III.  Together they are the proud grandparents of five grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.

The King Holiday Mass Celebration and Motorcade/March for Hunger will be held on the actual holiday, Monday, January 20th, 2014.  The Motorcade will start assembling at 9:00 a.m. and will depart promptly at 10:00 a.m. from the Mt. Zion Baptist Church, 5th & Richmond.  It will take a select route through the community and will arrive at the Jack Reardon Civic Center, 5th & Minnesota, in time for the Mass Celebration.  The Mass Celebration will start at 11:00 a.m. with selections from the MLK Mass Choir under the direction of Alicia Saunders. Praise dancing featuring  the Forrest Grove Baptist Church praise dancers will be presented along with the Men of Worship from the Greater Pentecostal Temple.

The Celebration will include youth highlights from Kiddie Kollege Nursery School and Kindergarten and over $30,000 in scholarships will be awarded to graduating high school seniors through the Rev. C.E. Taylor/MLK, Jr. Educational Awards Program.  The youth program will feature local youth talent from schools in the Kansas City, Kansas school system.

The annual scholarship award winners will be announced and students will be on hand to receive their educational scholarship awards.  Special accommodations will be made for the physically challenged and the hearing impaired.  A sign language interpreter will also be on hand.

There will be a voter registration booth set up with official registrars in attendance to conduct on-the-spot registrations for persons not registered to vote and the Kansas City, Kansas Fire Department will have special health screening and training available.

This year's celebration  is sponsored by:  Sprint, The Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, Happy Food Stores–Happy Foods North, Board of Public Utilities, Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kansas, Construction and General Laborers AFL-CIO #1290, Hilton Garden Inn, Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas, the Raphael Hotel Group, Mark One Electric Co., Inc., Landmark Mortgage Co - Americo.,  PRIME Health Care Services – Providence Hospital, The Community Foundation of Wyandotte County, J.E. Dunn Construction Co. and Dunn Family Foundation, Kansas City Kansas Chamber of Commerce and the McAnany, VanCleve and Phillips Law Firm.

Kaw Valley District Ushers, Prince Hall Masons, F & AM and PRIDE will assist in seating and management.

For additional information, contact: LaVert Murray, General Coordinator at (913) 433-6955 or (913) 334-2355; or Rev. Tony Carter, General Program Chairman at (913) 342-0306 or (913) 515-4354.