The King Center honors civil rights leaders at Beloved Community Awards 2024

On Saturday evening, The King Center honored activists and companies making a difference in civil rights across the nation at their 2024 Beloved Community Awards ceremony.

The night brought together stars and activists from all over the U.S.

Related: Martin Luther King Jr. Day events in metro Atlanta | 2024

 "With everything that's happening in the world today, this is a night that shines a light on the best of us," said Dr. Bernice King, CEO of the King Center and daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King.

Dr. Bernice A. King, CEO of The King Center at the 2024 Beloved Community Awards in Atlanta on Jan. 13, 2024.

She says the King Center’s 2024 Beloved Community Awards honors those trying to make the dream of her parents to establish a "beloved community" in this country and on this earth, a reality.  

"We're excited to bring together this cadre of shining stars in such a dark time … I’m hoping people will walk away being more inspired to join in the efforts to create the Beloved Community," King said.

National philanthropist Deloris Jordan received the Beloved Community Coretta Scott King Soul of the Nation Award.

Philanthropist Deloris Jordan at the 2024 Beloved Community Awards in Atlanta on Jan. 13, 2024.

"I think we are moving forward Dr. King's vision and mission. We're struggling a little bit. Some days are dark, but we have to keep getting up and moving forward, trying to keep the vision alive," Jordan said.

National civil rights attorney Ben Crump received the Beloved Community Social Justice Award.

National Civil Rights Attorney Ben Crump at the 2024 Beloved Community Awards in Atlanta on Jan. 13, 2024.

"The ultimate privilege, ultimate honor that you can receive as a civil rights advocate. And so we accept this award as encouragement to go out and fight even more," Crump said.    

The ceremony drew notable figures from across the country.

Philanthropist Chelsea Clinton at the 2024 Beloved Community Awards in Atlanta on Jan. 13, 2024.

"I hope people will be activated to take action to help strengthen and increase the kind of love and the kindness within their own communities," Chelsea Clinton said.

"We're coming together to move us, to move forward, to tell a story, to shine a light. And hopefully, that light will get into a dark place and empower somebody else to make a move," actor Dulé Hill said.

Those in attendance acknowledged that while the U.S. has made great strides in civil rights, we all still often struggle to fully realize the Kings’ vision of a beloved community.

But King said the people gathered at the awards ceremony Saturday would continue to fight for that change.

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2024 Beloved Community Awards in Atlanta on Jan. 13, 2024.

"My mother said it best: ‘The struggle is a never-ending process. Freedom is never really won, you have to win it in every generation.’ And so, that's why we want to lift up the people that are helping us to win it in every generation. As long as we shine bright, we can dispel the darkness," Dr. King said.     

The King Center’s celebrations for the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday will continue Monday with the Beloved Community Commemorative Service at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. FOX 5 Atlanta will stream the service live.