Building Our Beloved Community Starts From Within

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Jan. 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968

We are living during some of the most consequential times in our nation’s history with the rise and amplification of voices within hate groups rooted in white supremacy. While staying clear-eyed with what is before us, it is during times like this that we also need to look at our past to try to guide our future. It’s times like the one we’re experiencing right now in our country that put the focus on the power of communication in order to strive to build a beloved community, starting with the power of words. It’s been proven words can inspire a nation or tear one down. Words can unite a community or make a community turn on each other. As we navigate the tumultuous times in our country, challenge yourselves to share your voice, connect with someone outside your typical social circle, learn about a community that doesn’t look like yours in an effort to understand the life experiences of others. As professional communicators, we have a unique voice and opportunity to influence the change we want to see and lead by example. 

Here are just a few activities and resources to consider as you honor and celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. this weekend, in February, Black History Month, and throughout the entire year since Black history is American history.

  • We’ve all heard the “I Have a Dream Speech”, which never gets old, especially since we’re still dreaming, but consider listening to some of his lesser known speeches on YouTube like “The Other America,” “#MLK: The Three Evils of Society,” and “Martin Luther King Jr. – America’s Chief Moral Dilemma.” Listen to how much has changed and yet, how much hasn’t, noting his powerful choice of words and phrasing which moved people to action.
  • Watch the Annual Memorial Service at Ebenezer Baptist Church online or on a network.
  • All National Parks are free on Monday, January 18, 2021.
  • Visit the National Center for Human & Civil Rights. Timed entry tickets or virtual tour available. Learn more here.
  • Consider a visit to the Apex Museum and get to know more about what the Auburn Avenue Research Library has to offer.
  • Browse a list of virtual MLK Day events, happening nationwide, many of them virtually so you’ll be able to participate no matter where it is.

Men often hate each other because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they can not communicate; they can not communicate because they are separated.”

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.