The 43rd annual breakfast to honor the civil rights leader is the oldest such event in the country.
Gov. Deval Patrick, who was in Washington D.C. for the second inauguration of President Barack Obama, delivered his remarks Monday via video message. He called for a renewed focus on reducing inner-city violence and narrowing achievement gaps between minority and white students.
In a keynote address, Harvard University minister and professor Jonathan Walton said King's push for economic justice and opposition to the country's "imperialist practices" abroad is King's true legacy. But he said that's been sanitized since his death and urged people to honor King's true legacy with action.