MLK advisers plan Derry visit

Dr. David Latimer pictured in Washington DC with Martin Luther King III and his wife, Andrea.
Dr. David Latimer pictured in Washington DC with Martin Luther King III and his wife, Andrea.

Advisers to Martin Luther King III - the son of the assassinated civil rights icon - plan to visit Derry next month, the ‘Journal’ has learned.

The news follows a recent meeting in Washington DC between Mr. King and Derry Presbyterian minister Dr. David Latimer.

The First Derry minister has invited the American human rights activist to Derry for a major citywide peace building event planned for May 19.

The Bright Brand New Day programme will include the lighting of the World Peace Flame in Derry.

More than 40 schools and colleges across the district are also participating in the high profile event.

Dr. Latimer says his two hour meeting with Mr. King was “very businesslike”.

The get-together took place at the Willard Hotel in Washington DC which is where Martin Luther King Jnr put the finishing touches to his famous ‘I Have a Dream’ speech in 1963.

David Latimer says that, while Mr. King has yet to make a firm decision on a visit, some of his advisors plan to visit Derry in mid-March to “gather further information about the city and its journey towards becoming a city of equals.”

Turning to the May 19 event, Dr. Latimer says plans continue to develop and he is particularly encouraged by the participation of so many schools.

“This is an exceedingly exciting and hopeful dimension to this bespoke peace initiative,” he says, “It will permit new seeds to be planted in the fertile hearts and minds of our city’s youth which, progressively, will contribute to a more favourable harvest and to the prospect of a sustainable peace - not just for our time but for all time.”