An MLK celebration in Cary, North Carolina, will feature Rachel Dolezal, the former NAACP leader who was revealed to be born Caucasian despite representing herself as an African-American.
The theme of the celebration is "Healing Race Relations through Conversation and Participation."
"We chose a person like Rachel Dolezal that has been depicted as a major villain through media because of her preference of racial identity," said Al Cohen, CEO of Jireh Management Group. "And yet, she didn't steal from anybody. She didn't murder anybody. She didn't rob anybody. She only had an affinity for a group of people, and she served her community well."
Look back on the Rachel Dolezal controversy:
Cohen went on to speak to those who have criticized the pick by saying that the conference is meant to foster love and understanding in the spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr. and added that he hoped the conference would allow people "the opportunity to see her in a different light."
"We are not trying to win everybody, but we are trying to remind everyone what the true values are in life," he said. "When we talk about MLK, we talk about a man that sacrificed his life to make sure that equality was experienced for all man and that justice was given and forgiveness."
Related: Also see Martin Luther King Jr. throughout his career:
Rachel Dolezal opens up about her racial identity: