Martin Luther King III

Martin Luther King III

Global Human Rights Activist

Civil rights advocate and global humanitarian Martin Luther King III is shepherding the healing of our nation and the world, connecting the important lessons of the past with the critical needs of our future and motivating a new generation of authentic leaders.

As the oldest son of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Mrs. Coretta Scott King, Martin Luther King III is a thought leader on the world stage, a peace maker, and a negotiator on some of today’s most critical national and international platforms for social change. Amplifying the work of his father, Mr. King has devoted his life to promoting global human rights and eradicating racism, violence, and poverty — referred to by his father as the “triple evils” and the “scourges of humankind” — on every continent except Antarctica.

“I go to schools and ask kids what they are worried about, and too often, they say they are worried that someone will come into their school and shoot them,” Mr. King says. “We must focus on eradicating violence — not teaching our children to cope with it.”

Having been arrested in peaceful protests more than a dozen times, Mr. King’s actions demonstrate his commitment to serving as an ambassador of social change. “Society has embraced a culture of violence,” he says, “but today’s real leaders must think about how to create a culture of non-violence because our culture cannot sustain itself if we continue to operate this way.” An experienced and respected international statesman who has consulted with numerous heads of state and governments, his dedication to implementing strategic, nonviolent solutions to stop the rise of social, political, and economic injustice has built his reputation as one of the world’s most passionate advocates for the poor and oppressed.

With the past year’s astounding display of social injustice and violence, perhaps at no other time in recent history has our world needed the clear thinking and solutions-oriented voice of Mr. King. In August 2020, on the anniversary of his father’s iconic “I Have a Dream” speech and in response to the Memorial Day death of George Floyd, Mr. King addressed thousands from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the “Get Your Knee Off Our Necks” March On Washington, urging the people who had traveled from across the country to continue Martin Luther King Jr.’s pursuit of racial equality.

In August 2021, the 58th anniversary of that same speech, Martin, his wife, Arndrea Waters King, and their daughter, Yolanda Renee King, were the face of a national movement to demand federal action on voting rights legislation – leading marches all across the country, including Washington, DC. In January 2022, building on the powerful slate of grassroots partners, Martin and Arndrea took to the streets of Washington, once again, to call on Congress to act to protect the sacred right to vote, joining with nearly 100 partner organizations and members of the faith-based community.

In his trademark logical approach to problem-solving, Mr. King raises the public discourse on social issues and challenges us all to do better. “If we can live a day in peace, why can’t we live a week in peace? If we can live a week in peace, why can’t we live a month? If we can live a month, why not a year? And if we can achieve a year, why not a lifetime?”

Most recently, Martin and Arndrea have taken over leadership of the Drum Major Institute, a nonprofit organization started over 60 years ago. The Drum Major Institute has built a reputation advancing the core mission and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. With a focus on continuing the King legacy through education, action, engagement with world leaders, and collaboration with socially conscious organizations, the work of the Drum Major Institute is as important today as it was then, inspiring each individual to embrace their unique contribution to peace, justice, and equity for all through common-sense solutions to our most pressing problems.

After successfully re-launching the Drum Major Institute, Martin and Arndrea set out to empower Black and Brown organizers to mobilize ahead of the 2024 election. With 40 organizations now funded in the initial round of grants, the Drum Major Coalition has set an ambitious goal of raising and investing $100 million in mobilization efforts ahead as the 2024 election approaches.