May 12, 2010
Dr. Alveda C. King, niece of civil rights leader Dr. Martin
Luther King Jr. (MLK), visited St. John’s University last month to
speak to students taking a graduate level Multicultural Counseling
class. The appearance, coordinated by Professor Andrew Ferdinandi,
Ed.D., was specifically designed for his School Counseling and
Mental Health Counseling students. Ferdinandi is an associate
professor for Human Services and Counseling at St. John’s
Alveda King’s father, A.D. King, was MLK’s brother and died a
year after the assassination. The cause of his death has always
been under suspicion. Like his older brother, A.D. King was a
Baptist minister and civil rights activist.
Ms. King has paid a high price for being a part of a family that
has always fought to help others. She lost both her uncle and her
father within the same year while just a teenager, but has endured
to follow in her family’s footsteps -- marching and fighting for
civil rights all throughout her life.
Ferdinandi invited Ms. King to the school’s Queens campus to
speak with students about her life. She has been dedicated to
fighting the just cause of equal rights for all, including the
One central topic of discussion addressed was that of white
privilege. This is a theory that conceptualizes racial inequalities
and focuses both on the advantages that white people accrue as well
as the disadvantages that people of color experience.
Ms. King had an interesting take on this theory when speaking to
her attentive student audience.
"When one group of people tries to oppress another they also
suffer," She noted. "That is, because for the oppressor to imprison
the oppressed, the oppressor has to stand guard and keep themselves
in prison as well."
Alveda King is an American politician, author and activist. She
currently serves as Senior Fellow at the Alexis de Tocqueville
Institution, a Washington, D.C. think-tank, is the founder of King
for America, Inc. based in Atlanta, Georgia, and was a former
member of the Georgia House of Representatives.
For more information contact Dominic Scianna, Assistant Vice
President for Media Relations, St. John’s University, by calling
(718) 990-6185 or e-mail inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.