|Bernice A. King is nationally and internationally known as one of the most powerful, motivating and life-changing orators and speakers on the circuit today. Born the youngest daughter of the late Coretta Scott King and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Bernice began her oratorical journey when she spoke in her mother’s stead at the United Nations at age 17. Over the years, Bernice has had the occasion to speak in such places as The White House, DuPont Corp., Warner-Lambert Corporation, AT&T, NIKE, USANA Health Sciences, University of Toledo, Xavier University, University of North Carolina, Duke University, Pepperdine University, Department of Defense, Salvation Army, and in such places as Sydney, Australia, Lubeck, Germany, Auckland, New Zealand and South Africa to name a few. In the summer of 2000, Bernice narrated the “Lincoln Portrait” along with a symphony orchestra in Keil, Germany at the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival.
Bernice is a graduate of Spelman College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and a Masters of Divinity and Doctorate of Law Degrees from Emory University. She has also received an honorary Doctorate of Divinity degree from Wesley College. She is currently a member of the State Bar of Georgia. On January 30, 2007, the 1st year anniversary of her mother’s death, Bernice returned to her alma-mater at Spelman College to announce the establishment of the “Be A King Scholarship in honor of Coretta Scott King.”
With a strong concern for community and family partnership, Bernice was privileged to serve as a law clerk in the Fulton County Juvenile Court system, under Judge Glenda Hatchett, host of the nationally syndicated Judge Hatchett show. It was there that she realized that a growing number of teens have been double victims: first of society and secondly of an ineffective legal system based in retribution instead of rehabilitation. Bernice has also served as a mentor to a group of 5th grade girls at an inner-city Atlanta elementary school, where she spent time molding their character and values so that one day they too would become a force to be reckoned with in the world. In keeping with this vision, in 2007 Bernice spoke at the inauguration of the Coretta Scott King Young Women’s Leadership Academy where she gave the charge to the 6th grade girls who would be attending the new all-girls school. Bernice reminded them that they were making history because they were among the first chosen to attend this school and as a result they would be expected to set the trend that others would follow. Bernice continues to serve as a mentor for the young ladies at CSKYWLA. Among other community activities and services, she was instrumental in organizing coalitions to close a pornographic shop located within a mile of a local High School. She also assisted The Dow Company in building a Habitat for Humanity home in Americus, Georgia.
As an ordained preacher, Bernice is a minister at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church. In addition to being a speaker/orator/preacher, Bernice has planned and organized numerous conferences, seminars and workshops for all walks of life. Because of her passion for Leadership training, Youth development, and Family Empowerment, she has successfully coordinated women and family conferences as well as nonviolent conflict resolution conferences for college and university students. She has also conducted a class on race relations at Mississippi College in Jackson, MS and taught a year- long leadership development class at The Love Center, where she was previously a member.
Bernice founded Be A King, whose mission is to re-brand and re-image generations of people to elevate the way they Think, Act, Live, and Lead.
Bernice has been featured on such shows as, Oprah, BET Talk with Tavis Smiley and the Judge Hachett Show and in such magazines as People Magazine, Ebony, Essence, Ladies Home Journal, Gospel Today and Charisma Magazine. In 2005, the American Legacy Magazine recognized Bernice as a “Woman of Strength and Courage.” She has also guest hosted a live lunchtime television show on CNN. In April 2008, Bernice was one of the fifteen delegates selected to meet Pope Benedict XVI during his visit to the United States. Bernice also received the “2009 Lifetime Achievement Advocate Award” from the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc.
On October 30, 2009, Bernice made history when she became the first female President-Elect of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). Recently, Bernice also agreed to serve on the inaugural Regions Diversity Advisory Council for Regions Financial, which was established in May 2010.
As an author, Bernice has to her credit, her book, Hard Questions, Heart Answers, a compelling and inspiring book.
Currently Bernice is developing multi-media production projects for radio, TV, and the internet. She is also devoting time to health & wellness awareness campaigns for different organizations. In the near future, she will spearhead the Be A King Health walk through her Be A King LYFE Foundation. This initiative will be in honor of her mother Coretta Scott King and sister, Yolanda D. King.