Beverly Hills Temple of the Arts to Honor Civil Rights Activist Rev. Ronald V. Myers, 1/16
Rabbi David Baron, Founder of the Beverly Hills Temple of the Arts at the Saban Theatre announced today that he will officiate a free Shabbat service and performance in observance of Martin Luther King Day by honoring Reverend Ronald V. Myers, Sr., M.D., a renowned civil rights activist, founder & chairman of the modern movement promoting the holiday Juneteenth, Baptist minister, jazz musician and American physician serving the disenfranchised in Tchula, MS. The service will be held on Friday, January 16, 2015 at 8:00 p.m. and will feature jazz trumpeter and pianist Ronald V. Myers, Sr. and celebrated jazz guitarist Jacques Lesure.
Service Participants will also include actor, director and the producer of this event, Stephen Macht, and Celebrity Keynote Speaker Gabriel Macht (star of USA Network's hit television show, SUITS). Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Metered Parking is available on local streets and in garages surrounding the temple.
To learn more about Reverend Dr. Ronald Myers, visit www.ronmyersjazz.com, www.nationaljuneteenth.com and www.myersfoundation.net.
Rabbi Baron said, "Reverend Dr. Ronald V. Myers is an outstanding living model of all the values for which Martin Luther King stood. Reverend Dr. Myers communicates those values through his musical art as a jazz trumpeter and jazz pianist. We are proud to honor Reverend Dr. Myers for his exemplary work as a Civil Rights Activist for establishing Juneteenth legislation now passed in 43 states celebrating the freedom of African Americans and the abolishment of slavery as a result of the President Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation of 1863. Further, we are pleased to acknowledge Reverend Dr. Myers for his support of Ethiopian Jewry by personally funding of a tour of churches and synagogues in the United States for Miss Israel 2013, Yityish 'Titi' Aynaw, an Ethiopian Jew. In addition, we are recognizing for Reverend Dr. Myers for medical ministry to the poor in the South for 30 years."
Stephen Macht, Producer of the Shabbat Service and Performance said, "Reverend Dr. Ronald Myers became a personal friend of mine over 30 years ago, when I read a New York Times article on February 12, 1990 that said Dr. Myers was an African American medical missionary who gave up a lucrative practice in the Chicago to repay his medical school loans to the U.S. Government by bringing free medical care to the poor and indigent people of Tchula, Mississippi, the armpit of America and a place where most passersby would not even stop for a tank of gas. Since that time, Reverend Dr. Myers made a personal trip to Israel to tour Ethiopian Jewish centers in Israel during the 2014 Gaza War."
The year of 2014 marked a historic one in the annuals of American history as it was the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a landmark piece of legislation in the United States guaranteeing all citizens equal protection of the laws under the Fourteenth Amendment. The late slain Civil Rights Leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was looking over the shoulder of the late President Lyndon B. Johnson as he signed the legislation into law on July 2, 1964.
In 2009 Senator Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and U.S. Representative Danny K. Davis (D-Ill.) sponsored resolutions asking for a national Juneteenth observance. At that time Senator Barack Obama said, "Just like the day when the greatest civil rights leader of our time was born or the day we finally gave African Americans a ballot and a voice, Juneteenth is a day when we look back on a time when everyday Americans faced the most daunting challenges and the slimmest odds and still persevered."
On June 14, 2014 the U.S. Senate unanimously passed Senate Resolution 474 designating June 19, 2014 as 'Juneteenth Independence Day' in recognition of June 19, 1865, the day when slavery legally came to an end in the United States. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Ca.) was a key co-sponsor of the bill.
More About Reverend Ronald V. Myers, Sr., M.D.: Reverend Dr. Ronald V. Myers is a 1985 graduate of the University of Wisconsin Medical School. He is a leading national advocate for health care to the poor and disenfranchised. In 1988, Reverend Dr. Myers completed his residency in Family Practice at L.S.U. Medical Center, Washington St. Tammany Charity Hospital, in Bogalusa, Louisiana.
In 1990, Reverend Dr. Myers became the first ordained and commissioned medical missionary to serve in America's poorest region, the Mississippi Delta, in the history of the African American church. Founder and Director of the Myers Foundation For Indigent Health Care and Community Development, Reverend Dr. Myers provided health care to the poorest of the poor in America, including black farmers and Catfish Industry Workers, in clinics in Tchula, Belzoni, Yazoo City, Indianola, Greenville and Tupelo, Mississippi.
Reverend Dr. Myers is the leader of the campaign to make Juneteenth Independence Day a National Day of Observance. Founder and President of the National Juneteenth Observance Foundation and the National Juneteenth Christian Leadership Council, his efforts have resulted in the recognition of Juneteenth as a state holiday or state observance in 43 states, the District of Columbia and the passage of legislation in the U.S. Congress to recognize the 19th of June as Juneteenth Independence Day in America. Reverend Dr. Myers also established the National Juneteenth Medical Commission to address the health care needs of African Americans.
Reverend Dr. Myers believes that the root of racism in America is enslavement. The ministry of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement is the reason why Juneteenth and reconciliation is becoming the focus of the nation. Reconciliation with African Americans Hebrew and Ethiopian roots led Reverend Dr. Myers to host a short U.S. tour of the first Jewish Ethiopian woman to be selected Miss Israel, Yityish "Titi" Aynaw, in 2013. Reverend Dr. Myers traveled to Israel in 2014 to work with Project Titi and provide missions support for Jewish Ethiopian children. Reverend Dr. Myers plans to return for a Juneteenth Israel Reconciliation Missions Outreach to the Jewish Ethiopian community in 2015. In 2016, he will lead a medical missions outreach to Ethiopia.
Caring for the poor is the reason why Reverend Dr. Myers received the prestigious 1990 President's Award from the Southern Christian Leadership Council, an organization founded by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Receiving the award was an inspiration in the life of Reverend Dr. Myers.
Reverend Dr. Myers is also Founder and President of the American Pain Institute and lead two successful "America's in Pain!" - March On Washington - "Silent No More," rallies in 2003 and 2004, demanding Congressional hearings on the pain crisis in America.
An accomplished jazz musician, Reverend Dr. Myers services as Artistic Director of the Mississippi Jazz and Heritage Festival. He created the National Association of Juneteenth Jazz Presenters to promote June is Juneteenth African American Legacy Month. Reverend Dr. Myers also serves as the Founder and Director of the Fellowship of Creative Christian Jazz Musicians. Reverend Dr. Myers has been the subject of many stories in the media including the New York Times, The Washington Post, Good Morning America and People magazine, to name a few. Reverend Dr. Myers and his wife Sylvia are the parents of five children.