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Circle of Hope Dialogue presents contemporary issues informed by Martin Luther King Jr.’s writings

Elon community members participated in a discussion about ongoing social issues and King’s solutions. The gathering was part of Elon University's lineup of events to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 

By Leila Jackson '22

Elon faculty, staff and students met in Moseley Student Center on Wednesday to participate in the Circle of Hope Dialogue to discuss civil rights issues in relation to the 21st century that were informed by Martin Luther King Jr.’s writings. The gathering is part of a lineup of events this month to celebrate the life and legacy of King. 

Brandon Bell, assistant director of the Center of Race, Ethnicity, and Diversity Education and the discussion leader, said that the name “Circle of Hope” symbolized the continuous process of dialogue, learning and engaging, even when there is a sense of hopelessness around pervasive social issues.

“Hopefully we are energized by the fact that we are in this together and even though there can be any one issue that can seem undefeatable, the world continues to take shape and I like to think in this circle or community of people, we can help make these differences,” Bell said.

​The dialogue centered around the key themes presented in King’s 1964 essay, “The Hammer of Civil Rights,” such as nonviolence in the face of police brutality, government support for civil rights and the importance of community as a conduit for justice and equity and how King’s ideas can be used for systemic issues that continue today.

Elon’s commitment to having a diverse and inclusive environment and preparing students to be global citizens can be ensured through conversations like the Circle of Hope Dialogue and through having conversations with faculty members, Bell said.

“I think one of the ways to demonstrate that for our students is for them to engage us in critical conversation about these issues and to build their capacity to engage it once they leave the Elon bubble,” Bell said.

Find a full listing of events for the university's celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. here

Owen Covington,
1/10/2019 11:15 AM