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Boston activist joins New England Civil Rights Hall of Fame

Posted by Sara Brown  July 15, 2011 02:19 PM

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Former State Representative and community leader Mel King will be honored Saturday by the New England Area Conference of the NAACP as he is inducted into the organization’s New England Civil Rights Hall of Fame.

King served as state representative for Boston from 1973 to 1982, and he ran for the city’s mayor in 1983. He is an adjunct professor in MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning, and the founder of the South End Technology Center at Tent City, a collaboration between MIT and Tent City that offers free or low-cost computer technology training.

The Hall of Fame, which aims to pay tribute to major contributors to the civil rights struggle who have lived and worked in New England, will also posthumously honor New Hampshire state representative Lionel Jackson.

“Historians have failed to give due acclaim to the enormous contribution of these leaders,” the organization’s president Juan Cofield said in a statement.

For now, the Hall of Fame is virtual, Cofield said, though the organization is planning a a physical location “at a major area university” that will offer course of study on civil rights advocacy in American history, including the abolition, women’s suffrage, and civil rights movements.

Past hall of fame winners include Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Moorfield Storey, the first president of the Boston NAACP, and comedian Dick Gregory.

The ceremony, which will feature a reception followed by dinner, will be at the Marriott Boston in Newton at 6 p.m. Lawrence O’Donnell, the anchor of “The Last Word” on MSNC, will be the keynote speaker.

Also: see our gallery of well known people from Roxbury.

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