Jul 28, 2014

MLK Legacy: A Renewed Call to Stop All Forms of Violence

'We are seeking to really convey the message of non-violence.'

MLK Legacy: A Renewed Call to Stop All Forms of Violence

On a basic level, the word usually calls to mind physical violence with the hands or weapons, such as a gun or knife.

But the Rev. Dr. Bernice A. King, daughter of the slain civil rights leader, Martin Luther King Jr., want people to see violence in all its forms, be it physical, verbal or other less obvious actions.

It's the basis of her initiative, " Choose Nonviolence," which urges people, particularly youth, to seek alternatives to reacting to situations negatively.

The 100-day campaign, which started Jan. 15, hits a milestone on Jan. 20. — the MLK holiday.

That's the day of its "No Shots Fired" Pledge,  in honor of her father's legacy effecting change through non-violence, even in the face of violent acts.

"The essence of my father's work is is his non-violence philosophy," King, who is a Baptist minister and chief executive officer of the King Center, told Patch.

"We are seeking to really convey the message of non-violence thru our Choose Nonviolence campaign."

And it's not just physical violence, but verbal interactions that wound emotionally, she said.

"If we could do this just one day, then hopefully, it will catch on and other people will see non-violence in terms of as a lifestyle.

Violence, particularly among youth, is a social issue nationally, from gangs in America's cities to the alarming pace of shootings in elementary schools, high schools and on college campuses.

Indeed, homicide is the leading cause of death among Americans aged 10 to 24, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In Georgia, it's the second-leading cause of death for that age group and affects black and Hispanic American youth the most.

King sat with Patch this week to discuss her campaign and violence's impact on the nation as a whole.

Please click on the video to watch Part I of our interview.

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