Living the Legacy Today: MLK at 50

Please join us for this special event

Monday, March 12, 2018
Temple Israel
1376 East Massey Road
 Memphis, Tennessee

5:30 P.M.  (CDT) Gathering Reception and Greeting by President Terri Freeman, National Civil Rights Museum

6:30 P.M.  (CDT) Worship – led by Rabbi Micah Greenstein and Rev. Traci Blackmon as preacher

7:10 – 8:30 P.M.  (CDT) Living the Legacy Today Panel sponsored by Yale Divinity School

Fifty years after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., progress on civil rights often seems stalled, and the “dream” of the late civil rights leader as distant as ever. How can people of faith and good conscience make this anniversary more than “just a commemoration?” How can people from different backgrounds and origins unite around a moral center that strives for justice? Join faith leaders, activists, academics, and the Moral Mondays community of Memphis for this vital conversation moderated by Jonathan Judaken, Professor, Rhodes College.


  • Traci Blackmon, Executive Minister of Justice & Witness Ministries, United Church of Christ 
  • Gerald Durley, Senior Pastor Emeritus, Providence Missionary Baptist Church in Atlanta
  • Katie Bauman, Associate Rabbi of Temple Israel in Memphis
  • Eboni Marshall Turman, Assistant Professor of Theology and African American Religion, Yale Divinity School

Please join us at Temple Israel before the program for a reception beginning at 5:30 p.m. CDT, followed by a special worship service at 6:30 p.m. CDT.  

RSVP to or 203-432-5359. Admission is free. 

The program will be broadcast beginning with a live stream of the worship service at 6:30 p.m. CDT (7:30 p.m. EDT) and continuing with the “Living the Legacy Today” panel discussion at 7 p.m. CDT (8 p.m. EDT). You can access the live stream here.

This event is presented by Yale Divinity School in collaboration with the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, with special thanks to the MLK50 Clergy Executive Committee. 

Panelists’ biographies:

Rev. Traci Blackmon
Traci Blackmon is Executive Minister of Justice & Witness Ministries of the United Church of Christ and Senior Pastor of Christ The King United Church of Christ in Florissant, Mo. A registered nurse for more than 25 years in her first career, Rev. Blackmon has a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Birmingham-Southern College and a Master of Divinity degree from Eden Theological Seminary. Since the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., she has become a leading national voice on issues of race and justice and a leader in the Black Lives Matter movement. She was appointed to the Ferguson Commission by Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon and to the Obama White House Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Rev. Blackmon has won numerous leadership awards and was recently named one of St. Louis’ 100 most influential voices.

Rev. Dr. Gerald Durley
Pastor emeritus of Providence Missionary Baptist Church, Gerald Durley has devoted his dynamic career to being an innovative champion for the power of faith and science to enact social change. A Tennessee State University graduate, Dr. Durley has a master’s degree in community mental health and psychology; a Master of Divinity degree from Howard University; and a Ph.D. in Urban Education and Psychology from the University of Massachusetts. Among his numerous professional leadership roles, he was Dean of Clark College and administrator of Morehouse School of Medicine before moving into permanent pastoral positions in Washington, D.C. and Georgia. In his long and dedicated career as a pastor, he continued to promote social change through work in his local community and around the globe, participating in discussions across cultures and beliefs to promote social unity. His recently authored autobiography is titled I Am Amazed.

Rabbi Katie M. Bauman  
Ordained at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Katie Bauman is Associate Rabbi at Temple Israel in Memphis. A graduate of Washington University, where she majored in Jewish, Islamic, and Near Eastern Studies, Rabbi Bauman has a Master of Education Administration from Xavier University and has served pulpits in Natchez, Miss., and Marion, Ohio, and was a cantorial soloist at Northwestern University Hillel and the Rockdale Temple in Cincinnati. She worked at the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, D.C., the Anti-Defamation League, the District of Columbia Jewish Community Center, and Washington Hebrew Congregation, and was Temple’s Artist and Educator in Residence in 2002-2003.

Dr. Eboni Marshall Turman
Assistant professor of theology and African American religion at Yale Divinity School, Eboni Marshall Turman holds degrees in philosophy, theology, and Christian ethics from Fordham University-Lincoln Center and Union Theological Seminary. A former concert dancer and an ordained National Baptist preacher, Dr. Turman devotes her research to varieties of 20th century theological liberalisms, especially Black and womanist theological, social-ethical, and theo-aesthetic traditions. In addition to several journal articles and book chapters, she is the author of Toward a Womanist Ethic of Incarnation: Black Bodies, the Black Church, and the Council of Chalcedon. Her current book project is tentatively titled, Black Woman’s Burden: Sexism, Violence, and the Black Church. She is the youngest woman to be licensed and ordained by the historic Abyssinian Baptist Church in the City of New York, where she served as Assistant Minister for 10 years. 

Dr. Jonathan Judaken (moderator)
Jonathan Judaken is the Spence L. Wilson Chair in the Humanities at Rhodes College in Memphis, where he coordinates the “Communities in Conversation” series of public lectures. Born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa, he completed his Ph.D. at the University of California, Irvine in 1997. His research focuses on ideas about Jews and Judaism, race and racism, existentialism, and post-Holocaust philosophy. Judaken is the author of, among numerous books, Naming Race, Naming Racisms (Routledge, 2009) and a work in progress on post-Holocaust anti-semitism. Judaken is U.S. contributing editor for the journal Patterns of Prejudice was host of the long-running WKNO radio show “Counterpoint.”