WNYC and Apollo Theater Announce "Hear Our Voices, Count Our Votes: MLK's March Continues" -- Sun, Jan 18, 3-5 at the Apollo

Apollo Uptown Hall:

WNYC & The Apollo Theater Present

“Hear Our Voices, Count Our Votes:
MLK’s March Continues”

WNYC and the Apollo Theater Co-Present WNYC’s Ninth Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration
Co-Hosted by WNYC’s BRIAN LEHRER and MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry
With Congressman Charles Rangel, Majora Carter, Baratunde Thurston, Darryl Pinckney, among others

Sunday, January 18, 3-5pm
Free and Open to the Public 


(New York, NY—December 16, 2014) -- WNYC and the Apollo Theater are partnering for a second year to present WNYC’s annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day celebration with “Hear Our Voices, Count Our Votes: MLK’s March Continues,” presented as part of the Apollo’s Uptown Hall series. In addition, WNYC will kick off MLK weekend with “Movement,” a night celebrating the Civil Rights Movement and the arts at The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space at WNYC.

 On Sunday, January 18th at 3pm, WNYC’s Peabody Award-winning host Brian Lehrer and MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry will convene a discussion that looks at how—50 years after the passage of the historic Voting Rights Act—communities across America continue to grapple with voter disenfranchisement, suppression, strained police-community relations, discrimination and other challenges to full equality. 

 Lehrer will kick off the afternoon with a one-on-one conversation with Congressman Charles Rangel.

 Other guests will include:

  • Rita L. Bender, widow of Michael Schwerner, one of three civil rights workers murdered in 1964 by the KKK
  • Baratunde Thurston, co-host of TakePart Live on Pivot TV, CEO and co-founder of Cultivated Wit, and author of How To Be Black 
  • Darryl Pinckney, author of Ball Blackballed: The Black Vote and US Democracy
  • Majora Carter, urban revitalization strategist at Majora Carter Group
  • Dante Barry, Director at Million Hoodies Movement for Justice
  • Janai Nelson, Associate Director-Counsel at NAACP Legal Defense Fund
  • Michael Skolnik, president of GlobalGrind.com

 This year’s event will also honor the legacies of the great civil rights activists who have passed away this past year: Maya Angelou, Ruby Dee, and Yuri Kochiyama. Dramatic tributes for these venerable women will be given by vocalist Alyson Williams, actress Cassandra Freeman and Yuri Kochiyama’s granddaughter Akemi Kochiyama, respectively.  Audiences will also be treated to a performance by the Harlem gospel quartet, Refining Faith.

“Dr. King memorably declared, ‘The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice,’” said Brian Lehrer. "In this ninth edition of our annual MLK event, we'll consider the arc of the last 50 years. From the Voting Rights Act to Staten Island to Ferguson, we'll take the temperature on the state of freedom in our country, and we’ll celebrate three women who greatly contributed to the fight for civil rights. We're thrilled to be partnering once again with the Apollo Theater, and I'm personally delighted to welcome the esteemed Melissa Harris-Perry to join me as co-host.”

“Since its inception, the Apollo Theater has served as a ‘town hall’ for local community residents as well as people from all across New York City,” said Jonelle Procope, President & CEO of the Apollo Theater. “The Apollo is also a kind of organic gathering place for people at historic moments in African American culture, as when thousands of people flocked to the Theater when Michael Jackson and James Brown passed away. Apollo Uptown Hall is a natural extension of that role, and so we are extremely proud to partner with WNYC again this year for their annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day celebration.”

Hear Our Voices, Count Our Votes” is free and open to the public, but RSVPs are mandatory at: www.wnyc.org/events or www.apollotheater.org .

On Thursday, January 15 at 7pm, WNYC will kick off the MLK weekend early with “Movement: A Celebration Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,” an evening of music, poetry and dance at The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space, the station’s intimate event venue. WNYC’s John Schaefer and Wes Jackson, founder of the Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival, will host this event exploring how social and civil rights movements can be expressed, pursued and propelled through the arts, and will take a closer look at the role movement plays in activism through a range of artists and performers whose work has been influenced and inspired by the legacy of Dr. King.  Guests include singer Maya Azucena, poet and actress Liza Jesse Peterson, dancers from the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company; young orators Anjali and Ariya Blow; jazz, folk and soul musician, Morley; cello and voice duo Bethany & Rufus with Peter, Paul and Mary’s Peter Yarrow; a cappella ensemble Khorikos, and all-women Afro-Brazilian percussion band Batala NYC. The evening will conclude with a set by DJ Natasha celebrating music and freedom.

Tickets for “Movement” are available at www.thegreenespace.org.


About WNYC 

New York Public Radio is New York’s premier public radio franchise, comprising WNYC, WQXR, The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space, and New Jersey Public Radio, as well as www.wnyc.org, www.wqxr.org, www.thegreenespace.org and www.njpublicradio.org. As America's most listened-to AM/FM news and talk public radio stations, reaching 1.1 million listeners every week, WNYC extends New York City's cultural riches to the entire country on-air and online, and presents the best national offerings from networks NPR, Public Radio International, American Public Media, and the British Broadcasting Company. WQXR is New York City's sole 24-hour classical music station, presenting new and landmark classical recordings as well as live concerts from the Metropolitan Opera, the New York Philharmonic, and Carnegie Hall, among other New York City venues, immersing listeners in the city's rich musical life. In addition to its audio content, WNYC and WQXR produce content for live, radio and web audiences from The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space, the station's street-level multipurpose, multiplatform broadcast studio and performance space. New Jersey Public Radio extends WNYC’s reach and service more deeply into New Jersey. For more information about New York Public Radio, visit www.nypublicradio.org.

About the Apollo Theater

The legendary Apollo Theater— the soul of American culture—plays a vital role in cultivating emerging talents and launching legends. Since its founding, the Apollo has served as a center of innovation, and a creative catalyst for Harlem, the city of New York, and the world.

With music at its core, the Apollo’s programming extends to dance, theater, performance art, spoken word initiatives, and more.  Recent highlights have included James Brown: Get on the Good Foot, which will begin an international tour in 2015, the Africa Now! Festival, and Apollo Club Harlem. Since introducing the first Amateur Night contests in 1934, the Apollo Theater has served as a testing ground for new artists working across a variety of art forms, and has ushered in the emergence of many new musical genres – including jazz, swing, bebop, R&B, gospel, blues, soul, and hip hop. Among the countless legendary performers who launched their careers at the Apollo are Lauryn Hill, Machine Gun Kelly, Miri Ben Ari, D’Angelo, Ella Fitzgerald,

Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holiday, James Brown, Michael Jackson, Gladys Knight, Luther Vandross, and Stevie Wonder; and the Apollo’s forward-looking artistic vision continue to build on this legacy.

The Apollo Theater is a not-for-profit organization and currently in the midst of fundraising for its 21st Century Apollo Campaign, created to extend the institution’s role in fostering artistic innovation and in building appreciation of American culture around the world. For more information, visit www.apollotheater.org


WNYC Contact:

Jennifer Houlihan Roussel




Mallika Dattatreya




Apollo Theater Contact:

Nina Flowers




Cynthia Tate