Just weeks after the death of her mother, Coretta Scott King, Yolanda King vowed “to carry on her work,” according to the New York Daily News. Now King will bring her messages to Maine for an appearance at Colby College on Saturday, March 11. The event, at 7 p.m. in Lorimer Chapel on the Waterville campus, is free and open to the public. Tickets are required.

As a speaker and trained actor, King presents her ideas through lecture-performances aimed at encouraging personal growth and social change. Her presentation, “Open My Eyes, Open My Soul: Discovering the Power of Diversity,” will focus on understanding and respecting diversity and common humanity.

King is the first-born daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mrs. King. Her passion for peace and positive change prompted her to found Higher Ground Productions, an organization dedicated to sharing her messages. King has performed or lectured in 49 states as well as in Europe, Africa and Asia.

Many of King’s stage, television and film credits reflect her commitment to social change. They include portrayals of Rosa Parks in the NBC-TV movie King, Dr. Betty Shabazz in the film Death of a Prophet with Morgan Freeman, and Medgar Ever’s daughter in Ghosts of Mississippi.

After receiving a bachelor’s degree from Smith College, King moved to New York where she earned a master’s degree in theater at New York University and directed and performed in productions in New York and the Tri-State area.

In 2004 King co-edited Open My Eyes, Open My Soul: Celebrating our Common Humanity, a collection of poems and stories aimed at raising awareness and enhancing understanding about diversity. King’s most recent book, released in December of 2005, is titled Embracing Your Power in 30 Days: A Journey of Self-Discovery and Personal Freedom. It shares some of the most intimate details of her personal journey towards finding inner peace and embracing her power beyond the legacy.

Free tickets can be picked up in the Cotter Union lobby on Colby’s campus Wednesday through Friday, March 8-10, between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. People traveling from out of town can request tickets to be held at the door by sending an e-mail to strobins@colby.edu and writing “Yolanda King Tickets” in the subject line.

King’s appearance is the keynote address at Colby’s annual student-organized Mosaic Conference to celebrate diversity. This year, lectures and workshops will explore the theme of “The Power of Speech and Expression.”