INTRODUCTION TO THE
KING CENTER AND ITS MISSION
The King Center seeks to create the Beloved Community that my father,
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., so eloquently described in his speeches,
sermons, and writings and practiced in his leadership of the Civil Rights,
peace, and anti-poverty Movements.
The King Center embraces my father’s vision of a world where nonviolence
is a way of life. My father pointed out that nonviolence means more than the
absence of physical violence. Nonviolence is not passive, but a courageous,
active resistance to injustice. It is a way of life reflected in thought and
deed, a method of conducting yourself in all of your affairs.
Nonviolence requires understanding of your opposition’s perspective. As
my father said, “We must learn from the wisdom of the brothers who are
called the opposition.” Through nonviolence, we seek to achieve a
mutually-beneficial, “win-win” resolution of the conflict in which
adversaries are reconciled and community is restored or created. It means
placing your individual perspectives on the table in a spirit of openness
and negotiating a just outcome for all parties. Nonviolence does not seek to
defeat or humiliate your opponent, but to win his friendship. “The aftermath
of nonviolence,” my father explained, “is the creation of the Beloved
In keeping with this challenge, The King Center has embraced a new
mission: to “educate the world about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s
philosophy and methods of nonviolence in order to create the Beloved
Community.” Though the mission change does not alter the overall
organization direction, which we have had for the past thirty-three years,
it does signal a shift of emphasis in our programs and activities.
Our commitment is to launch innovative projects and programs that promote
my father’s teachings through the use of state-of-the-art communications
technology. We have already initiated print media, audiovisual, and Internet
projects. We are now exploring the use of advanced interactive
communications technology to reach additional millions in other nations
using many languages.
Through these and other initiatives, we will educate coming generations
about applying my father’s philosophy and techniques of nonviolence as a way
of life in the 21st century. We have established new partnerships with
organizations and individuals who have demonstrated a commitment to help
educate people all over the world in Kingian Nonviolence. We will continue
to authorize and advise fellow nonprofits, community-based organizations and
government agencies in their efforts to commemorate and promote the
teachings of Martin Luther King, Jr. We have begun forming a global network
of organizations that have missions similar to that of the King Center, and
together we will build the Beloved Community of my father’s dream.
This is an exciting time in the evolution of the King legacy. The road
ahead of us is long and challenging. And though my father was not able to
get there with us, we will “get to the Promised Land” and create the Beloved
Community using his philosophy and methods of nonviolence. With your help
and God’s blessing, we will make this beautiful dream a radiant reality.
Mr. Dexter Scott King
Chairman - The Martin Luther King, Jr. for Nonviolence and Social Change