Honoring the Life and Legacy of Dr. King for the N...

Honoring the Life and Legacy of Dr. King for the New Year


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At the Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Center, we use the final week of every year to take an in-depth look at the life and legacy of Dr. King during an intensive, week-long class with 40 high school stu­dents.

Students immerse them­selves in the study and practice of nonviolence. The six days of classes are residential. We read, write, and read what we have written. We sleep on floors, get up at 6 a.m. and de­vote 15 hours each day to not only studying, but to practicing team building and civic action.

This year, Oakland students are joined by students from our partner organization, the Dolo­res Huerta Foundation, for this dynamic, life-changing learn­ing experience

Dr. King teaches that “Non­violence is a declaration of war against evil and injustice.”

Understanding his teaching; students confront their fears of direct involvement in organiz­ing others, speaking up, and participating in small and large events in Oakland as well as other cities and towns around the state.

They are becoming person­ally and socially responsible. They are preparing, along with many smaller events for Dr. King celebrations, including the March and Rally Com­mittee’s Rally, the Women’s March Oakland, and the state-wide YMCA’s Youth and Gov­ernment Conference.

The Life and Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. pre­pares youth to:

  • Understand the origins of the modern Civil Rights Move­ment and the historical, social, political and economic injus­tices it continues to combat through nonviolence, educa­tion and civic engagement.
  • Prepare to make person­al and meaningful speeches about Dr. King’s legacy and its vital significance for us today.
  • Build teamwork, public speaking skills, and the ability to work with other organiza­tions to participate in positive change.
  • Develop courage, what Dr. King described as, “the in­ner resolution to go forward in spite of obstacles and frighten­ing situations.”

Please join us in honoring the life and legacy of Dr. King by engaging in community and democracy year-round.

Roy D. Wilson, Ed.D., is ex­ecutive director of the Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Cen­ter in Oakland. For informa­tion call (510) 434-3988 or visit https://mlkfreedomcenter.

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