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.