VOL 124 NO. 11
By Richard Sales/ SUN contributing writer
Friends For Life, Inc. will energize its message of community education by holding its annual spring luncheon Saturday, April 9. This community service event will include an awards presentation ceremony and feature speaker Dr. Alveda C. King. Dr. King will share her personal story in a speech entitled, “How Can the Dream Survive?” The event takes place at Barbagalo’s Restaurant in East Syracuse. A coffee hour at 11 a.m. will be followed by lunch at noon.
Friends For Life is a pro-life organization dedicated to issues regarding respect for life, such as suicide prevention and drug abuse as well as abortion. Recent endeavors include efforts to educate the public about certain risk factors for breast cancer and participation in the Silent No More Awareness Campaign. The concept of respect for life extends beyond pro-life or anti-abortion. Education, housing and quality of life issues are also included as well as civil rights and domestic violence. A respect for life also necessitates a consideration for animal rights and nature conservancy. Also of importance is respect for spiritual life, not only by allowing equal rights to others, but also by respecting our own spiritual needs and responsibilities. Above all, respect for life needs to be practiced as well as preached: Dr. Alveda King and Friends For Life, Inc. are excellent examples of how words and deeds can be combined to effect positive change. The central focus of Friends For Life in the Central New York area is to inform women about the negative consequences of abortion and to provide information about alternatives.
Dr. Alveda C. King, a former college professor and an elected member of the Georgia State House of Representatives, has a distinguished record of public service. She is also a published author whose works include the best-selling books Sons of Thunder and The King Family Legacy as well as I Don’t Want Your Man, I Want My Own — an inspirational collection of religious readings. As the founder of King for America, Inc., she leads a strong organization dedicated to serving the national community by promoting positive change through spiritual development. Dr. King’s organization has worked to endorse school choice, which she sees as a critical social issue. In her role as director, she works with Pastor Allen McNair of Believer’s Bible Christian Church. McNair has established funds and programs designed to assist members of under-represented groups to attend graduate school. King for America, Inc. seeks to “ assist people in enriching their lives spiritually, personally, mentally and economically.” Dr. King’s life has been strongly influenced by ‘respect for life’ issues, particularly the civil rights movement. Her father, Rev. A.D. King, and her uncle, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. both lost their lives as civil rights activists. In helping to continue the tradition of leadership and community service, Alveda C. King continuously speaks out on moral issues. Dr. King is currently a minister at the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Atlanta, Georgia and director of its African American outreach program. King’s leadership has helped the church to spread the teachings of Christ deeper into its community. “Faith in God and the commitment to fulfill his will in our lives — not faith in government bureaucracy — is the key to positive change,” Dr. King said.
In addition to her work with King for America, Inc., Alveda is also a spokesperson for the Silent No More Awareness Campaign. When King spoke at the 27th Annual Interfaith Assembly for Life, she told the story of her experience with abortion and how it changed her priorities regarding respect for life topics. King said, “ The most compelling issue of all is the life of the unborn.” The painful story of her abortion is told in her essay “How Can the Dream Survive?” It tells of the medical problems she encountered as well as the social and spiritual damage that she sustained as a result of the procedure. Her concern extends beyond the life of the unborn to include family members who may be affected by the loss as well as the women who participate in the practice. King said, “We need to minister to those who have had abortions, those who choose not to, and those who haven’t been involved in sexual activities yet.” Underlying her broad vision is a strong faith in god and an all-inclusive respect for life. Alveda’s philosophy is reinforced by a statement from Frederica Mathewes-Green of Silent No More: “The Silent No More campaign gives a voice to women who have too long been ignored. Pro-life and pro-choice can agree: abortion is a tragedy, and women deserve better choices.”
Those planning on attending can look forward to an assertive and passionate message from Dr. King and Friends For Life. Their collaboration promises to be provocative and revealing.