It seems fitting that Martin Luther King Day (today) would be when I would realize that the community we are building at the Kheprw Institute (KI) and North Meadow Friends is what Martin Luther King was referring to as a beloved community. And isn’t that how we begin to heal and move through processing racial injustice and inequality together? One thing that has seemed to be missing until I realized this was just what our goal, or our vision was? Now it seems clear our goal is to fulfill Martin Luther King’s dream, and build beloved communities all over.
“As early as 1956, Dr. King spoke of The Beloved Community as the end goal of nonviolent boycotts. As he said in a speech at a victory rally following the announcement of a favorable U.S. Supreme Court Decision desegregating the seats on Montgomery’s busses, ‘the end is reconciliation; the end is redemption; the end is the creation of the Beloved Community. It is this type of spirit and this type of love that can transform opponents into friends. It is this type of understanding goodwill that will transform the deep gloom of the old age into the exuberant gladness of the new age. It is this love which will bring about miracles in the hearts of men.'”
“In keeping with Dr. King’s teachings, The King Center embraces the conviction that the Beloved Community can be achieved through an unshakable commitment to nonviolence. We urge you to study Dr. King’s six principles and six steps of nonviolence, and make them a way life in your personal relationships, as well as a method for resolving social, economic and political conflicts, reconciling adversaries and advancing social change in your community, nation and world.”
– See more at: http://www.thekingcenter.org/king-philosophy
addendum: I thought I’d heard the term beloved community recently, and found it when I reviewed the AFSC’s Quaker Social Change Ministry material, so that probably helped trigger this.