National Civil Rights Museum Adds Kerry Kennedy to Hybrid Commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Death on April 4

Shelby County Health Department partners with the museum for free admission

Memphis, TN, March 31, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Kerry Kennedy, daughter of Robert F. Kennedy, will join the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel in a hybrid commemoration, “Remembering MLK: The Man. The Movement. The Moment.”,  honoring Dr. King’s life on Monday, April 4. Kennedy will reflect on Dr. King’s legacy as part of the museum’s in-person program. The Museum partners with the Shelby County Health Department to provide free admission to residents that day.

Kerry Kennedy is President of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights. She has devoted more than 40 years to the pursuit of equal justice, the promotion and protection of basic rights, and the preservation of the rule of law. She works on a range of issues, including child labor, women’s rights, disappearances, indigenous land rights, judicial independence, freedom of expression, ethnic violence, criminal justice reform, immigration, impunity, and environmental justice. A human rights activist and lawyer, she authored the New York Times bestseller Being Catholic Now, as well as Speak Truth to Power and Robert F. Kennedy: Ripples of Hope.

Kerry has received high honors from President Lech Walesa of Poland for aiding the Solidarity movement, The Humanitarian Award from the Congress of Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, and many other honors.

The museum is partnering with the Shelby County Health Department to make free admission available to Shelby Countians. The museum is open during regular hours 9:00 am to 5:00 pm on April 4.  Residents can register for tickets at SCHD-REMEMBERING MLK-2022. Tickets may be picked up at the Health Department’s headquarters at 814 Jefferson Avenue on Thursday or Friday, March 31 or April 1, 2022 between the hours of 12:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. or 4:30 and 6:00 p.m.

The Museum invites a global audience to join this year’s commemoration, the 54th anniversary of Dr. King's death. The live broadcast begins at 4 pm Central with a musical prelude followed by the commemorative service at 4:30 pm via the museum’s website and Livestream platforms.  This live broadcast is from the historic Lorraine Motel balcony where Dr. King was assassinated. This year’s event features a keynote speaker, special performances, fraternal tributes, and the changing of the balcony wreath with a moment of silence at 6:01 pm Central the time when Dr. King was slain.

Dr. Leslie D. Callahan of St. Paul’s Baptist Church in Philadelphia, PA is the keynote speaker.  The W. Crimm Singers aka Wakanda Chorale, and the Iris Orchestra’s Artist Fellows with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra & University of Memphis Fellows will perform musical tributes to Dr. King.

Dr. Callahan has been the pastor of the St. Paul's Baptist Church in Philadelphia, PA, since May 2009 serving as its fifth pastor and the first woman to lead the 132-year-old congregation. Callahan earned degrees from Harvard University, Union Theological Seminary (NY), and Princeton University. Active in public service, in 2012 she was appointed a commissioner of the Philadelphia Housing Authority. She also serves on the board of directors for Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity, which provides legal support for record expungement and pardons, and the governing board of The Promise, Philadelphia's poverty initiative.

W. Crimm Singers aka Wakanda Chorale, a professional ensemble-in-residence of Tennessee State University’s Big Blue Opera Initiatives, wholly embraces the music of the Black experience throughout the diaspora and every genre connected to it with major emphasis on the Negro Spiritual, African American operatic, and concert repertoire, hymnody, and anthems. The group presented in the International Florence Price Festival’s Songs from the Heart of a Woman: The Vocal Music of Florence Price, and most recently, performed Handel’s Messiah with Early Music City and period orchestra, marking the first all-Black vocal cast performance of work in Nashville in over 25 years.

Musical performances by Iris Orchestra’s Artist Fellows and Memphis Symphony Orchestra/University of Memphis Fellows, two prestigious programs dedicated to emerging musicians from African American and Latinx communities, which are historically underrepresented populations in classical music. The musicians will collaborate with the W. Crimm Singers o a special rendition of “Precious Lord,” one of Dr. King’s favorite gospel hymns. Their musical prelude will begin at 4:00 pm Central.

The museum will also give away children’s craft kits to remember Dr. King. As with tradition, audio recordings of the civil rights leader’s speeches will play in the courtyard throughout the day.

Registration for the link to the live-streamed program is highly recommended. Moderated comments can also be shared during the virtual broadcast.  For more information, visit


About the National Civil Rights Museum

The NATIONAL CIVIL RIGHTS MUSEUM, located at the historic Lorraine Motel where civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated, gives a comprehensive overview of the American Civil Rights Movement from slavery to the present. Since the Museum opened in 1991, millions of visitors from around the world have come, including more than 90,000 student visits annually. The Museum is steadfast in its mission to chronicle the American civil rights movement and tell the story of the ongoing struggle for human rights.  It educates and serves as a catalyst to inspire action to create positive social change.

A Smithsonian Affiliate and an internationally acclaimed cultural institution, the Museum is recognized as a 2019 National Medal Award recipient by the Institute of Museums and Library Services (IMLS), the top national honor for museums and libraries.  It is a TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Top 5% U.S. Museum, USA Today's Top 10 Best American Iconic Attractions; Top 10 Best Historical Spots in the U.S. by TLC's Family Travel; Must See by the Age of 15 by Budget Travel and Kids; Top 10, American Treasures by USA Today; and Best Memphis Attraction by The Commercial Appeal and the Memphis Business Journal.