MLK50 and the 2018 BCI Essay Contest

4 04 2018

At around 6pm today, it will be 50 years since the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It will also mark the end of the 2018 Beloved Community Initiative (BCI) Essay Contest. To thank the students of Virginia for participating in the essay contest, Dr. Virgil A. Wood (who worked with Dr. King, Jr. and his father), Dr. Sylvester Johnson (Professor and Director of the Center for the Humanities, Virginia Tech), and Dr. Corey Walker (Vice President, Dean and Professor of Religion and Society, Virginia Union University) held a webinar this morning – as part of the MLK Jubilee Summit – in which they explored the legacy of Dr. King, Jr. and provided their thoughts on what this legacy means for the students of today. A recording of this webinar is provided below.

The essay contest (described in the video below) was designed to provide junior and senior students at high schools across Virginia with the opportunity to explore exemplars of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s notion of the Beloved Community – a community based on social and economic justice and a common love for fellow human beings. Dr. King, Jr. often thundered “The moral arc of the universe is long but it bends toward justice,” quoting American Bards of generations gone. Dr. Wood’s life-long search for the elusive promised land of the American Dream led to the realization that at every point where the moral arc did bend, even ever so slightly, there stood a pair, or in some cases triplets, of Black and White ancestors of the Beloved Community. Sometimes these ancestors were not contemporaries, but they can be linked by the spirit they exemplified. Through their essays, students were challenged to explore the connections between these ancestors and to consider how they helped advance the notion of the Beloved Community. In the coming weeks, a review panel will select four winning essays that will be showcased at an event this fall.





Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Jubilee Summit

23 03 2018

April 4, 2018 marks 50 years since Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s departure. In response to this anniversary, members of the Beloved Community Initiative created the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Jubilee Summit to draw on the collective experiences of more than a dozen national and local organizations and individuals to answer Dr. King, Jr.’s question: Where do we go from here?

The Jubilee Summit consists of a series of strategic online gatherings. Information about each event is provided here. Summit speakers include academic, religious, and community leaders, and everyone is invited to participate.  

The Jubilee Summit will begin on Friday, March 23, 10am (EST), with a discussion between Dr. Virgil A. Wood (Co-founder, Jubilee National Collaborative) and Dr. Howard H. Stevenson (Harvard University Business School), on a collaboration they have shared for more than ten years. They will launch the summit by addressing the topic: Does Martin Luther King, Jr. have a living legacy, and if so, where is economic justice?





Dr. Walker to Speak on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Politics of Freedom

11 01 2018

On Tuesday, January 16 at 2:30pm, Dr. Corey Walker (Vice President, Dean, and Professor of Religion and Society at Virginia Union University) will be giving a public lecture entitled The Sovereignty of the Imagination: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Politics of Freedom, at the Biocomplexity Institute Auditorium at Virginia Tech.

Dr. Corey’s lecture is the first official event of Virginia Tech’s 2018 MLK Week. Dr. Corey is a core member of the VT-VUU team behind the 2018 Beloved Community Initiative Essay Contest (see the video below). This contest provides junior and senior students at high schools across Virginia with the opportunity to explore exemplars of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s notion of the Beloved Community – a community based on social and economic justice and a common love for fellow human beings. The essay submissions are due by 6pm on April 4, 2018.





Dr. Virgil Wood Talks About His Life and Working with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

28 03 2017

Last week, Dr. Virgil Wood was interviewed by Rebecca Powell-Doherty and Ben Grove on Andy Morikawa’s Trustees Without Borders show. During the conversation, Dr. Wood talked about his life and work with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Louis Kelso, and many other leading American figures. The interview can be accessed by clicking on the image below.

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