Workshop: Teaching the Movement for Civil and Human Rights

Honoring the Life and Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. Vigil for Peace and Justice April 4, 2017

Workshop: Melding Formal and Informal Education for Social Change

This Year’s Theme is “Advancing the Dream: A Nation of Freedom and
Justice (What can be done today to make Dr. King’s
dream of freedom and justice a reality in our community?)”

Article from "The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education"

Annual Student Essay Contest Deadline for Submission: March 3, 2015

Event date: January 15, 2018 The Martin Luther King Holiday Coalition is seeking volunteers to work as Parade Marshalls for the upcoming Holiday Parade. Parade marshalls will meet at 11:00 am at St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral at NW 7th and Robinson. Duties will consist of either being posted in the staging area or walking along…

Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Lecture Series An Evening with Benjamin Todd Jealous

This site contains information about the events we are currently organizing. Annual events take place on the Martin Luther King Jr. federal holiday on the third Monday of January. In addition, we may organize, sponsor or support other events throughout the year.

King Legacy Scholars Visit National Center for Civil and Human Rights


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As we approach the 26th annual Martin Luther King, Jr. observance and reflect upon the recent opening and dedication of a national memorial in King’s honor, we should consider how we might engage a living legacy of the human rights leader that brings us closer to the democratic vision he so passionately embraced. A first step is to commit ourselves to teaching and learning about the civil rights movement, one of the most transformative democratic freedom struggles of modern times. Often, in schools and colleges around the nation, the movement is reduced to a few days of study and over-emphasis on a master narrative that is simplistic in its failure to interrogate the many complexities and nuanced interactions among its leaders, participants and organizations. A recent study revealed that American students have very limited knowledge of this significant period in the nation’s history which continues to impact events around the globe.

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Martin Luther King Jr.'s skillful rhetoric put a new energy into the civil rights struggle in Alabama. The bus boycott involved 382 days of walking to work, harassment, violence and intimidation for the Montgomery's African-American community. Both King's and E.D. Nixon's homes were attacked. But the African-American community also took legal action against the city ordinance arguing that it was unconstitutional based on the Supreme Court's "separate is never equal" decision in Brown v. Board of Education. After being defeated in several lower court rulings and suffering large financial losses, the city of Montgomery lifted the law mandating segregated public transportation.

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We should never forget that everything Adolf Hitler did in Germany was "legal" andeverythingthe Hungarian freedom fighters did in Hungary was "illegal." It was "illegal" to aid andcomfort a Jew inHitler's Germany. Even so, I am sure that, had I lived in Germany at the time, I wouldhave aided andcomforted my Jewish brothers. If today I lived in a Communist country where certainprinciples dear tothe Christian faith are suppressed, I would openly advocate disobeying that country'santireligiouslaws.

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Of course, there is nothing new about this kind of civil disobedience. It was evidencedsublimely in the refusal of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego to obey the laws ofNebuchadnezzar, onthe ground that a higher moral law was at stake. It was practiced superbly by the earlyChristians, whowere willing to face hungry lions and the excruciating pain of chopping blocks rather thansubmit tocertain unjust laws of the Roman Empire. To a degree, academic freedom is a reality todaybecauseSocrates practiced civil disobedience. In our own nation, the Boston Tea Party representeda massiveact of civil disobedience.