Atlanta, GA - March 29, 2012: Mourning the slaying of Florida resident Trayvon Martin, Bernice A. King, MLK Center CEO, today issued the following statement:
“In light of the recent tragedy of the slaying death of young Trayvon Martin, it is evident that America and indeed the world need principles of nonviolent conflict reconciliation more than ever” said King, who will be presiding over a two day Kingian Nonviolence Orientation session in Atlanta this weekend, which was planned prior to the Trayvon Martin tragedy.
“While nonviolence education and training for youth is a key priority of the King Center, our upcoming orientation session could not be more timely,” King asserted. “This weekend we will be exposing youth, young people and also seasoned adults in the philosophy and methods of nonviolence as espoused by my father.
“My father was able to lead an entire Movement to embrace nonviolence as a means of conflict reconciliation. We can only pray that America and indeed the world will hear the cry to humble and settle the seething cauldron now aflame from what has happened to Trayvon.
“As one who has also suffered the loss of loved ones by gun violence (referring to the deaths of her father and grandmother), I can imagine what Trayvon’s family is feeling.
“While it is imperative that America investigates every aspect of this tragedy, from the federal state and local levels, we must not stop there. We must urge America to seek justice with compassion. We must act with reason and agape, nonviolent love.
“People expect the legal process to proceed, but again, it is imperative that people work together and not turn to violent solutions. As many attempt to bring awareness to these issues by nonviolent protest, in the words of my father in his ‘I Have a Dream’ speech, "we must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence.”
“For those who wonder why this happened, we have only to look deeply into the soul of America and discover that we still don’t understand the message of love and nonviolence. This could very well be a defining moment in American history if we choose to change our ways and begin to embrace Noviolence as a way of life. In this regard we would do well to revisit my father’s admonition that "today the choice is no longer between violence and nonviolence, but between nonviolence and non-existence," said Ms. King.
“We are still on the journey to the Mountaintop. Join me on the journey as we pray for Trayvon’s family, the community of Sanford and all who are in danger of being victims of violence.” King concluded.
Ms. King recently accepted a request from the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change in Atlanta to assume the role of CEO for the organization founded by King’s mother, Mrs. Coretta Scott King in 1968. Currently, the King Center is focusing on restructuring its Kingian nonviolence education and training initiatives that have set the standard for the much needed principles espoused by King’s father, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.