Kevin Parry, WireImage
"When charged with planning the 10th celebration of the Martin Luther King Jr. Days of Dialogue and March, we as a committee, felt that it was important to discuss as many pieces to diversity as possible. We are covering many issues including race, sexual orientation, veterans and religion," said Kate Steiner, a co-chair of the event, in a press release.
Steiner says that Common's appearance, in addition to other activities such as panels, lectures and a performance by Dead Prez on Jan. 21, seeks to make the festivities more welcoming and empowering to people from different backgrounds. While all programming is based around Dr. King's powerful life and ideals, the theme is 'A Decade of Defining Diversity Through Dialogue' and will focus on gains made throughout the last decade and how to ensure civil rights and opportunity in the future.
A partnership with Common seems like a no-brainer. The rapper's 'Common Ground Foundation' launched in 2007 and has a similar goal of empowering and developing urban youth.