Belafonte daughter to speak at WVU-P Martin Luther King Jr. event

Adrienne Belafonte Biesemeyer

PARKERSBURG — A daughter of Harry Belafonte will be the keynote speaker at a program commemorating the life of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. at 12:15 p.m. Jan. 22 in the college theater at West Virginia University at Parkersburg.

Speaking is Adrienne Belafonte Biesemeyer, Belafonte’s oldest daughter. Belafonte, a singer, actor and social justice activist, was among King’s closest confidants, marching beside the reverend and serving as key coordinator for many civil rights events, including the March on Washington, D.C.

“We are honored to have Biesemeyer share her unique perspective about the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,” said Debbie Richards, WVU Parkersburg Social Justice Committee co-chair. “This program will reflect on Dr. King’s importance in the civil rights movement and how his legacy influences our conversations about race and inclusion today.”

Sponsored by WVU Parkersburg’s Social Justice Committee, the event is free and open to the public. It will be streamed live at the Jackson County Center in room 206.

Biesemeyer is a licensed professional counselor and former chair of the West Virginia Board of Examiners of Counseling. She is the designer and director of the Center for International Medicine and Cultural Concerns at the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine in Lewisburg as well as executive director of the Anir Foundation.

Started in 1997 by Biesemeyer and her daughter, the Anir Foundation is a volunteer program that serves South African and Caribbean communities by focusing primarily on family assistance in regard to housing, education, HIV, AIDS and STD education and prevention, other health-related issues and cultural heritage preservation.