"One people, one community, one world." Congressman John Lewis (D-Georgia) captured the underlying theme of the Holocaust Museum Houston's annual Lyndon Baines Johnson Moral Courage Award Dinner with those six words, delivered with pastor-like fervor before the gathering of close to 900 at the Hilton Americas-Houston.
The evening that honored the memory of Martin Luther King Jr. and Holocaust survivor Gerda Weissmann Klein raised close to $1.1 million. The link was made between these two champions of the human spirit, two whose legacies have offered a dream of hope and humanity for those following both the Holocaust and the American civil rights movement. As keynote speaker for the dinner, Lewis noted that King was “one of the most courageous persons the civil rights movement ever produced."
Luci Baines Johnson presented the honors, first to Klein's granddaughter, Lexi Klein, and then to Martin Luther King III.
A heavy-hitter contingent signed on to lead the evening which was chaired by Crystal Ashby, the Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell, J. Kent Friedman, Regina Rogers, David Solomon and Shawn Taylor. Honorary chairs included Stanford Alexander, Archbishop Emeritus Joseph Fiorenza, State Rep. Al Green, Rabbi Samuel E. Karff, the Rev. Bill Lawson, Arthur Schechter and Fred Zeidman.
The program, emceed by Shara Fryer, included remarks from museum president Mark Mucasey.
Among museum supporters were Mayor Annise Parker and Kathy Hubbard, Judge Mike Engelhart, Sue and Lester Smith, Heidi Gerger, Peter Berkowitz, Judge Robert Schaffer, Trish Morille and Israeli Consul General Meir Shlomo.