CHERRY HILL — Continuing the messages of civil rights, peace and justice proclaimed by her father and uncle, Dr. Alveda King spoke last week at Camden Catholic High School here on its annual pro-life day.
King is the daughter of late civil rights activist Rev. A.D. King and the niece of slain civil rights leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Currently, she is the director of African-American Outreach for Priests for Life and is the founder of King for America, a faith-based organization in Georgia. She has written six books, including “How Can The Dream Survive If We Murder The Children? Abortion Is Not A Civil Right” (2008).
Meeting first with the whole school and then individually with religion classes on Thursday, Feb. 10, King recalled her two abortions in the 1970s, which she now regrets, and her current crusade to spread the message of the God-given dignity of the unborn. Today, she has six grown children.
“We must speak out for those who cannot speak for themselves,” she implored students, saying that the unborn “deserve justice, equality and protection. As a Christian, my conscience can’t abide” the killing of the unborn.
She spoke of the influence the students can have on their peers and urged them to be effective pro-life witnesses.
“Your power can carry through all generations,” she said, telling them that “as Christians, you have a responsibility to protect the next generation of children.”
“Abortion should not only be illegal, but unthinkable,” she said.
King also warned students of the temptations of sex, fame and wealth.
“Fame is so fleeting, irrelevant,” she said. “God has all the riches.”
“Seek God’s kingdom first. The more you give, the more you receive,” she said, while reminding them that “love is the strongest force in the world.”
After speaking at Camden Catholic, Alveda King visited Mary, Queen of All Saints in Pennsauken later that night, and Gloucester Catholic High School the next day. Her visit to the Diocese of Camden was coordinated by Monsignor Michael Mannion, director of Community Relations for the Camden Diocese, who is also a pastoral consultant with Priests for Life.
“It was gracious of her to come here for a couple of days,” he said.
Father Chuck Colozzi, chaplain at Camden Catholic and Gloucester Catholic, agreed. “It’s always good to have a light shining in the darkness, to talk about how we can do better to promote peace and justice.”
After her talk, Camden Catholic students vowed to take King’s message outside of their school building and keep her fight going in their own communities.
King “was very insightful,” remarked senior Danielle Lawler. “It’s important to know the issues that our church supports.”