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Position Statement

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Committee, Oscar Romero Scholarship Committee, and the Benigno and Aquino Scholarship Committee

 

WE NEED TO BE STEWARDS OF NON-VIOLENCE

Summary

In the events of recent days and months where mental health, weapons, and loss of massive proportion have affected our lives, we ask each of you to support positions of non-violence at the individual, family, group, and community level.

Background and Significance

Martin Luther King Jr. was an advocate for others on three key components of individual, family, and community challenges:

Poverty—unemployment, homelessness, literacy, physical and mental health, mortality or morbidity, health disparities

Racism—prejudice, apartheid, ethnic conflict, anti-Semitism, sexism, colonialism, homophobia, ageism, discrimination against disabled groups, stereotypes

Violence—war, imperialism, domestic violence, rape, terrorism, human trafficking, media violence, drugs, child abuse, violent crime, bullying, harassment (REF)

Position

WE ADVOCATE THE FOLLOWING POSITIVE STEPS:

  • Know and understand the statistics on gun violence, domestic violence, urban violence, suicide and armed self-defense
  • Consider, encourage and support pragmatic, positive approaches as a way to be constructive in your responses
  • Understand and consider the meaning of a culture of violence and the potential for shaping and enabling behavior
  • Understand the principles and applications for non- violent intervention and mediation
  • Understand the principles of crisis intervention
  • Create a vision of non-violent action as a non-partisan cause or movement
  • Reach out to professionals to bring assistance to those who may appear to be emotionally troubled
  • Discuss any form of discrimination openly to understand the source and solution
  • Never ignore someone’s experience of poverty, racism , or violence
  • Be there for others, advocate directly and openly, and never give up

Historical Reading List

King, Martin Luther, Jr. Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story. New York: Perennial Library, Harper, 1958.

King, Martin Luther, Jr. A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings of Martin Luther King, Jr. Edited by James Melvin Washington. San Francisco: Harper, 1986.

King, Martin Luther, Jr. The Trumpet of Conscience. New York: Harper & Row, 1967. Five lectures broadcast in Canada; topics include peace and nonviolence.

King, Martin Luther, Jr. Why We Can't Wait. New York: Harper & Row, 1963.

Garrow, David J. Bearing the Cross: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Southern Leadership Conference. New York: Morrow, 1986.

King, Coretta Scott. My Life with Martin Luther King, Jr. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1969.

Levering, Ralph. ‘Martin Luther King, Jr.: The Challenge of Inclusive Peacemaking.’ In Peace Heroes in Twentieth-Century America. Edited by Charles DeBenedetti. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1986, pp. 198 - 226.

Lewis, David L. King, a Critical Biography. 2d ed. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1978.

Lokos, Lionel. House Divided; The Life and Legacy of Martin Luther King. New Rochelle, N.Y.: Arlington House, 1968.

Oates, Stephen B. Let the Trumpet Sound. New York: Harper & Row, 1982

Pyatt, Sherman E. Martin Luther King, Jr.: An Annotated Bibliography. New York: Greenwood, 1986.

The Violence of Love by Oscar A. Romero, James R. Brockman and Henri Nouwen

Oscar Romero: Reflections on His Life and Writings (Modern Spiritual Masters Series) by Marie Dennis, Renny Golden and Scott Wright

Romero: A Life by James R. Brockman

Oscar Romero and the Communion of the Saints: A Biography by Scott Wright

Voice of the Voiceless: The Four Pastoral Letters and Other Statements by Oscar Romero, Michael J. Walsh, Jon Sobrino and Ignacio Martin-Baro