Today, April 4th 2013, marks the 45th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s assassination. 45 years since a bullet was fired into his chest. And 45 years since the bullet missed its mark.
That bullet may have killed the man, but his legacy lives on through the millions of us who have stood for justice since that fateful day. His legacy lives on through elders like Dr. Bernard LaFayette and David Jehnsen, who authored the Kingian Nonviolence philosophy to ensure that the assassin missed. His legacy lives on through the hundreds of college students who were exposed to Kingian Nonviolence during the three-week Alternative Spring Break program we just finished up, and the hundreds of high school youth who will be trained this summer. His legacy lives on though each and every single one of you, who have supported us in our effort to ensure that we carry on his message.
As many of you already know, Kingian Nonviolence was born out of a conversation Dr. King had with Dr. LaFayette just hours before his assassination. So while April 4th marks the death of Dr. King, it also marks the birth of Kingian Nonviolence. As we commemorate his death, let us also celebrate the 45th anniversary of the birth of this important legacy. Let us celebrate how much Dr. King taught us, how much he continues to teach us, and let us recommit ourselves to fulfilling his dream.
PPWN will be recognizing this important day across the nation, from Atlanta to Oakland. In Atlanta, PPWN Founder Jonathan Lewis will be on a panel discussing gun violence with the organization started by Dr. King, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. In Oakland, members of the PPWN community will be attending an event organized by one of our biggest supporters, the East Bay Meditation Center. And we will be continuing to celebrate Dr. King’s legacy next week as we return to the San Bruno County Jail to work with a new group of 40 men.
Dr. King’s dream is far from having been realized. As the community in New York struggles against stop and frisk in the wake of another police shooting (this time of 16-year old Kimani Gray), as the battle rages on over same sex marriage and LGBT equality, as the president signs into law the “Monsanto Protection Act,” as communities around the country protest the Keystone XL Pipeline in the face of yet another oil spill - we are reminded daily how far we still have to go.
It is for this reason that PPWN remains committed to living out Dr. King’s vision, and continuing to push forward towards his dream of a Beloved Community. It is for this reason that we not only honor his death, but we honor the birth of his living legacy: Kingian Nonviolence.
Over the coming months and weeks, we will be sharing with you more news about what we’ve been up to recently (working with 200+ college students from 20 schools in Selma, working to institutionalize Kingian Nonviolence at the University of WI River Falls, etc.) and where we are going (upcoming work in Japan and Colombia, ongoing programming in the Bay Area, trainings for hundreds of High School youth over the summer). We look forward to connecting with all of you, and helping to ensure that those who wanted to kill Dr. King’s vision missed their mark.