MLK Celebration 2023
MLK Legacy March
Cultivating a Beloved Community Mindset
Welcome to the 5th Annual MLK Legacy March: Reflection Route!
This year we focused on the BE LOVE movement and pledge, as we highlighted the three
main points that make up the BE LOVE Pledge. This is the First out of Five Stops as
you scroll through our MLK Legacy March: Reflection Route.
*Please take a minute to watch the video. Once complete, please scroll drown to Stop #2!
Cultivar una mentalidad de comunidad amada
¡Bienvenidos a la Quinta Marcha Anual del Legado de MLK: Ruta de Reflexión!
Este año nos enfocamos en el movimiento y el compromiso BE LOVE, ya que destacamos los tres puntos principales que componen el compromiso BE LOVE. Esta es la primera de cinco paradas a medida que se desplaza por nuestra Marcha del legado de MLK: Ruta de reflexión. Tómese un minuto para ver el video. ¡Una vez completado, desplácese ahogado hasta la parada #2!
BE LOVE Pledge: Acknowledgement 1 – The violence, oppression, injustice, and hate in our world has to stop.
"Proud to be Maladjusted" - MLK Jr. Speech (1966)
"There are some things in our nation and the world for which I am proud to be maladjusted and wish all men of goodwill would be maladjusted until the good society is realized. I never intend to adjust myself to segregation and discrimination. I never intend to become adjusted to a religious bigotry. I never intend to adjust myself to economic conditions that will take necessities from the many to give luxuries to the few, leaving millions of people smothering in an air-tight cage of poverty in the midst of an affluent society. I never intend to adjust myself to the madness of militarism and the self-defeating effects of physical violence."
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke in many different areas of allowing oneself to be maladjusted to violence, oppression, inequality, injustice, and hate in our world. He did this through speeches, acknowledgments, and taking action to support and uplift those around him. Listening in on his acceptance speech for the Nobel Peace Prize, we can recognize where we need to take steps to be maladjusted and create the changes we want to see in the world. Allowing oneself to be maladjusted to one's surroundings allows for a beloved community to take place. We are creating a beloved community by taking the pledge to BE LOVE.
BE LOVE Pledge: Acknowledgement 2:
"I have a responsibility and role to play in creating social change for a more just, humane, equitable, and peaceful world."
"Conscience of America" - MLK Jr Series of lectures (1963)
December 18, 1963, marked the day that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr gave a speech to Western Michigan University for the first and only time speaking in the state. "Conscience of America" was a series of lectures in which King traveled across America preaching about racial prejudice and race relations. This speech occurred at a vital yet risky time when the governor of Mississippi, pro‐segregationist Ross Barnett, had given a speech months before. "Now, through our ethical and moral commitment, we must make of it a brotherhood. We must all learn to live together as brothers, or we will perish together as fools. This is the great challenge of the hour. This is true of individuals. It is true of nations. No individual can live alone. No nation can live alone.". Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. reached out to all, disregarding race, in this phrase to let all of mankind know that we are one and must depend upon each other in order to be. To live, to dream, to succeed, and to love and accept one another.
King, M. L. (n.d.). Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s visit to WMU: Transcription of MLK's WMU Speech and Q&a session. WMU Research Guides. Retrieved December 13, 2022, from https://libguides.wmich.edu/mlkatwmu/speech
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s visit to WMU: MLK at western. WMU Research Guides. (n.d.). Retrieved December 13, 2022, from https://libguides.wmich.edu/mlkatwmu
Watch Martin Luther King Jr's visit to WMU in 1963
BE LOVE Pledge: Acknowledgement 3 - The decision is mine whether to do nothing in this moment, or to have the courage to stand up for justice.
“I've Been to the Mountaintop" MLK Jr. last speech (April 3, 1968)
On April 3, 1968, just one day before he was assassinated, Rev Dr. Martain Luther King Jr. delivered a powerful message which speaks to why it is important to understand that "the decision is yours whether to do nothing in this moment, or to have the courage to stand up for justice." During this speech Dr. Kings tells a story about how he had been stabbed in September 195 and how if he would have simply sneezed, he could have died. However, even after coming so close to death, Dr. King continued to fight for justice and was beginning to spark a change in America. In this speech, Dr. Kings alluded to the fact that he is aware that he may die in his pursuit; even go so far as to say "we've got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn't matter with me now. Because I've been to the mountaintop. And I don't mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place." Dr. King fully understood that he had to stand for what was right even if it cost him his life. Now, it is our turn to pledge to stand up for what is right even if there are challenges that arise in doing so.
Now that you've learned about MLK's legacy and the three acknowledgments of the BE LOVEd Pledge take a few minutes to reflect on what you've learned.
Read and reflect on the BE LOVEd Pledge below:
Starting today, I make a personal choice to BE LOVE.
I pledge to allow love to drive my thoughts, words, decisions, and actions,
and honor the humanity of every individual.
I pledge to speak the truth to power in love.
I pledge to focus on defeating injustice and not destroying the person.
I pledge to support leaders who demonstrate a love for humanity.
I pledge to promote unity and refuse to perpetuate or magnify division.
I pledge to demonstrate a life of courage, care, and compassion
as I boldly confront anything that stands in opposition to love.
By signing this pledge, I'm helping to create what
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. called
The Beloved Community.
Take a piece of paper and answer the questions below.
BE LOVE is a movement born amid the immense uncertainty and global tension of the past several years to help society answer three critical questions facing humanity:
1. Who must we be?
2. What must we do?
3. What are we to accomplish?
Keep your answers somewhere you will frequently see so that you are reminded daily of your commitment to BE LOVE.