Circle of Hope event considers lessons of Martin Luther King Jr.
Members of the Elon community gathered Wednesday for a discussion stemming from a 1960 speech by the civil rights leader.
Elon faculty, staff and students gathered in the Moseley Center on Wednesday to consider the insights civil rights leader Martin Luther King offered in his 1960 speech, "The Rising Tide of Racial Consciousness," delivered at the Golden Anniversary Conference of the National Urban League.
The "Circle of Hope Dialogue" event, part of Elon's celebration of Black History Month, provided an opportunity for members of the Elon community to consider how they can use their own racial identity to enact justice and equity at Elon. Discussion leader Brandon Bell, assistant director of The Center for Race, Ethnicity and Diversity Education, said King's speech offered insights into how those in the majority can work as allies and in support of those in the minority.
"We hope that dialogue can be a source of affirmation, and it can be a source of strength," Bell said. "We hope that a sense of dialogue can create a sense of community."
On Elon's campus, the lessons from King's speech can encourage groups to engage in intentional programming with stakeholders of various races across campus in a meaningful way that seeks to address inequities, Bell said. King is encouraging us to develop our cultural competencies in a broad way, to reading works from other cultures and engaging with people who come from different backgrounds, Bell said.
"King is talking about reconciliation and understanding," Bell said.
Find a full listing of events during Elon's celebration of Black History Month here.