Philadelphia Martin Luther King, Jr. Association for Nonviolence, Inc. was
founded by Honorable Dr. C. DeLores Tucker and a group of
local leaders in 1983, 17 years after the assassination of the late Dr. Martin
Luther King, Jr. Mr. Waverly Easley, then President of the Philadelphia Tribune and
a stalwart supporter, was the first to respond.
He provided the office space and organizational support during the
beginning years. Many of the early
leaders had personally known Dr. King and had been inspired by his works and
Dr. King’s widow, Coretta Scott King, knew that Philadelphia held a special place in
her husband’s heart and thought it fitting to have a permanent organization
dedicated to his ideals of peace and freedom in the City of Brotherly Love.
The King Association, a 501(c)(3)
organization, is the only affiliate commissioned by Mrs. King and the Martin
Luther King Center for Nonviolent Social Change, Inc. in Atlanta, Georgia to
promote and perpetuate the nonviolent legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Philadelphia has and continues to enjoy a
unique and historic role in the life of Dr. King and his memory. The last office he opened before his
assassination was opened here in an office given to him by Mr. William Tucker, the husband of C. DeLores Tucker and current
President of the King Association. The
last fund-raising gala “Stars for Freedom” was held at the Spectrum in 1967 and
was chaired by C. DeLores Tucker. .
The King Association, was originally
founded to develop programs in the Northeast region of the United States and to
serve as a pioneering model for future programs in other parts of the nation.
1984, the year after the Martin Luther King, Jr., Holiday was officially
enacted, President Ronald Reagan appointed Mrs. Coretta Scott King
and then-Governor of New Jersey Thomas Kean, to chair the King Federal
Holiday Commission, which was charged with determining how the holiday was to
be observed. Mrs. King’s vision was to
have the holiday commence each year at noon with the ringing of the Liberty
Bell in Philadelphia--a worldwide symbol of freedom, justice, and
equality--echoed by bells throughout the world, including those in Big Ben in
London and in the Vatican. Since then,
every King holiday commences with the ringing of the Liberty Bell at 12:00 noon
at Independence Hall in memory of Dr. King.
This is held during a National Ceremony hosted by the King Association.
1985, Pennsylvania’s then Governor,
Richard Thornburgh designated the Association as the Commonwealth’s
official resource center on civil rights and nonviolence.
the years, the Association has grown to produce an active, year-round schedule
of programs and activities that amplify the teachings and principles espoused
by Dr. King. Through the myriad of
activities, people of all ages learn about the significance of Dr. King’s works
and how to incorporate Kingian principles into their own lives to make a
The Association works with area educators,
corporations, business, social organizations, and religious and community
groups, as well as the general public.
The Association seeks to develop and present related curricular,
extracurricular and informational programs and events within the general
community and to develop leadership in working toward the prevention of
“nonviolent social change” in all walks of life.
We are committed to addressing pertinent social
issues to reduce tension and violence in the Delaware Valley Community.Our current program efforts are focused on
the development of Kingian principles through our yearlong academic and youth
development programs while teaching principles of violence prevention,
particularly at a time like now, when violence among youth in our city is