Martin Luther King, III attends the 42nd Annual Legislative Conference in D.C. and talks about spirituality & politics

Martin Luther King, III, Arndrea Waters King, Kimberly Hayes Kimberly Hayes (far right) interviews Martin Luther King, III at the Black Congressional Caucus, in D.C.

Down the beltway, I headed to the nation’s capital for the Annual Legislative Conference hosted by the Congressional Black Caucus of congress.  This event is always lively for the panel discussions, dinners receptions, networking and partying, all in the name of supporting this segment of congress necessary to ensure diversity in all areas of the political process.

I started off my brief weekend in DC at the Annual Prayer Breakfast held at the Washington Convention Center at 7am on Saturday where the Keynote Speaker was renowned Pastor Noel Jones of Gardenia, CA where he pastors a mega-church in the Los Angeles area.  The brother of Grace Jones provided a dynamic message of prosperity and hopefulness to the breakfast crowd of 1,000 + after being serenaded by Grammy-winning Gospel Artist Kim Burrell.   The breakfast definitely set the tone for the last day of the conference where guests included Jesse Jackson, Sr., Martin Luther King, III and sister Bernice King and many other prominent members of congress.

After the breakfast, I caught up with Martin Luther King III and asked him the relevance of prayer with the tone of election as contentious as it is and how he thought prayer could provide any outlet for frustrated voters with the way the country stands now.  See interview for details.

Later, I caught a panel on “The Black Church and Gay Marriage” where Jesse Jackson hosted and a few other pastors joined in where most disagreed with the notion of gay marriage though one panelist gave some scriptural back-up in support of the choice of those who opt for gay marriage.  It was, as could be expected, a heated debate with some very passionate disdain on why gay marriage should not be the focus of anything right now but the election of the new supreme court justices coming in the very near future.

To close the conference, the annual Phoenix Awards Dinner held on the final evening featured guest speaker, First Lady Michelle Obama to an anxious crowd of attendees.  Mrs. Obama talked about the importance of voting.  With less than 50 days from the election (at that point), it was the main focus of the evening.  She charged attendees with finding people who would likely need help getting to polls on election day, to get these voters to the polls!  Voter suppression is a real threat and to combat this, voters need to know their options.  The election is closing in and we’re almost a month away from  seeing the fate of the most historic election follow-up from 2008.  Are you registered to vote?  Days remain for you determine eligibility to vote in your perspective states.  Did you fill out your absentee voter card?  Let’s Get Out The Vote people!