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Hammond to address MLK breakfast Feb. 21

Ray Hammond
Ray Hammond

Reverend Ray Hammond, a physician and founding pastor of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Boston, will be the keynote speaker at MIT's 34th annual celebration of the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

The theme for the 2008 celebration is "Ensuring Educational Access: Our Challenge, Our Opportunity." Hammond will deliver his remarks at the breakfast event honoring King, to be held in Morss Hall on Thursday, Feb. 21, at 7:30 a.m.

MIT President Susan Hockfield will host the program, which will include musical selections by the MIT Gospel Choir, student speakers and recognition of MIT's 2008 MLK Leadership Award winners.

Hammond, a native of Philadelphia, is well known in the Boston area for his leadership and involvement in community and youth activities. He is chair and co-founder of the Ten Point Coalition, an ecumenical group of clergy and lay leaders working to prevent violence and mobilize the Greater Boston community on behalf of at-risk youth.

Hammond also serves as executive director of Bethel's Generation Excel program; as chair of the Boston Foundation; and as vice president for membership of the Boy Scouts Minuteman Council in Boston. He is an executive committee member of the Black Ministerial Alliance and serves as a trustee of Catholic Charities of Boston, of the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and of the Yawkey Foundation, among other organizations.

Hammond received his BA from Harvard College. He was a graduate of the first cohort of the Joint Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, receiving his MD degree from Harvard Medical School. After completing his surgical residency at New England Deaconess Hospital in Boston, he joined the emergency medicine staff at Cape Cod Hospital.

He has written widely on topics including academic achievement, diversity and the ethics of reproductive technology, and has received numerous honors including honorary doctorates from Boston University, Lesley College and Northeastern University.

He devoted himself to the ministry in 1976 and received his MA in religion, concentrating on Christian and medical ethics, from Harvard University in 1982.

Hammond is married to Reverend Gloria White-Hammond, MD, a pediatrician, co-pastor of Bethel AME in Boston, and co-chair of the Massachusetts Coalition to Save Darfur. They have two daughters and live in Boston.

The MIT breakfast program honoring King is open to students and other members of the MIT community. Space is limited and reservations are necessary. To register, please visit

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on February 6, 2008 (download PDF).

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