YWCA Greater Charleston announces 2021 MLK celebration theme and summit keynote speaker

December 16, 2020

The capstone event of Charleston’s 10-day Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration, the largest and longest-running event of its kind in South Carolina, will be headlined next month by noted philanthropist and business leader Anita Zucker.

The annual tribute’s theme will be “Restore the Dream. Repair our World.”

The MLK Annual Business and Professional Summit, formerly called the MLK Business and Professional Breakfast, will cap the 10-day tribute. Held at 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday, January 19, 2021 for a limited audience of 50 in a socially distanced format at the Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau’s Camden Room, 375 Meeting Street, Charleston, SC 29403 as well as virtually, the event will feature Zucker as keynote speaker and City of Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg as honorary chair.

Zucker, who currently serves as chair and chief executive officer of The InterTech Group, Inc., is an advocate for education and a passionate philanthropist. The recipient of the 2019 Ernst & Young Lifetime Achievement Award, 2019 James L. Fisher Distinguished Service Award, and 2018 Ellis Island Medal of Honor, among many other honors, she has served on boards throughout South Carolina and beyond.

Her philanthropic, advocacy, and community work includes leadership and membership positions on the boards and leadership committees of the College of Charleston, Addlestone Hebrew Academy, Porter Gaud, Ashley Hall, the MUSC Foundation, MUSC Hollings Cancer Center, the MUSC Neurosciences Department, Clemson University, the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce, Trident Technical College, Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative, Charleston Promise Neighborhood, the Charleston Regional Development Alliance, the Coastal Community Foundation, Spoleto, and the Gaillard Management Corporation, among others. She proudly serves as a trustee at the University of Florida and as chair of the University of Florida Foundation.

The summit is again expected to be attended by hundreds of Charleston’s business, civic, and clergy leaders; at the 2020 event, nearly 700 ticket-holders packed a large ballroom and overflow space at the Charleston Gaillard Center.

Organizations can sign up now to sponsor the 2021 MLK Celebration online at ywcagc.org/mlk or by emailing [email protected]. Virtual attendance of the 2021 MLK Annual Business & Professional Summit will be complimentary. Registration information will be available in early January at ywcagc.org.



The 49th Annual Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration is one of Charleston’s longest running events, predating Spoleto Festival USA and other well-known local events. The annual celebration was founded by YWCA Greater Charleston and first held in January 1972—one of the first such tributes to Dr. King in the nation. The MLK Business and Professional Breakfast was added in January 2000 in partnership with former Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr. and the City of Charleston. Today the celebration is the largest tribute to Dr. King in South Carolina, attracting thousands of celebrants each year.


For 113 years, YWCA Greater Charleston has worked to eliminate racism and empower women in Charleston, Berkeley, and Dorchester Counties. Among its initiatives to eliminate racism are its 10-day MLK Celebration, one of the city’s longest running events; its annual Stand Against Racism; and its Racial Equity Institute trainings equipping local leaders to address racism. It empowers women with its annual What Women Bring event, attended by hundreds to empower South Carolina’s women in business, community, and culture; WE 360, helping women of color overcome barriers in entrepreneurship; Own the Room public speaking workshops empowering women’s success; and Choose Well, reducing unintended pregnancies. It brought the first Girls Who Code club for middle school girls to Charleston, and its Y Girls Code program includes female students of all ages. It also hosts SheStrong, empowering high school girls to develop as leaders and changemakers. For more information, visit ywcagc.org.