Atlanta Civil Rights leader Xernona Clayton will be the keynote speaker for Sandy Springs’ annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration on Jan. 16.

Xernona Clayton.
Xernona Clayton.

The MLK Day event at City Hall is where the city will present its annual Humanitarian Award, whose 2017 winner has not yet been announced.

Clayton worked with King and other Civil Rights leaders in the 1960s. She coordinated a successful effort to desegregate all hospitals in Atlanta. She later became a pioneering television host and an executive at Turner Broadcasting. She is now president and CEO at the Trumpet Awards Foundation, which honors African Americans for various accomplishments. The awards began as a Turner program.

Other speakers at the MLK Day event will include Rabbi Dr. Analia Bortz of Congregation Or Hadash; Pastor Henry Bush of Sharon Community Church; and Rev. Ricardo Green of Mount Vernon Presbyterian Church.

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.