15 January, 2007
The King Legacy Award for International Service was presented to Ambassador of Greece to the United States Alexandros Mallias on Sunday, January 14, 2007, at the 16th Annual Salute to the Life and Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at the Willard Intercontinental Hotel in Washington, D.C. Mr. Mallias was honored for his contributions to peace in the Balkans, to Greek-American relations, and to efforts to prevent such abhorrent practices as human trafficking, which is a modern form of slavery.
Accepting the award, the Greek ambassador spoke of Dr. King’s struggle for freedom and against discrimination in the context of the search for justice memorialized by classic Greek tragic poets, like Aeschylus in his play “Prometheus Bound” and Sophocles in his play “Antigone.” He also highlighted the inspiration given by Dr. King to struggles for democracy worldwide, including Greece during military rule in the late 1960s, and against discrimination, noting also that AHEPA, the largest and oldest Greek-American association, was founded in Atlanta, Georgia in 1922, precisely to defend Greek immigrants from persecution and segregation.
The special affinity Greeks feel for these struggles is indicated by the adoption of the Brunetta C. Hill Elementary School of Birmingham, Alabama by the Embassy of Greece in Washington, D.C.
Others honored at the Annual International Salute, attended by many Americans as well as members of the diplomatic community, were Global Summit of Women President Irene Natividad, NIH National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities Director John Ruffin, Martin Luther King, Jr., National Memorial Foundation President Harry E. Johnson, Sr., and House Majority Whip Congressman James E. Clyburn (D-SC).
Further information: Event Chair & Ex. VP, Institute for the Advancement of Multicultural & Minority Medicine Madeline Y. Lawson (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Source: Press Office of the Embassy of Greece