RIC Celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. Day 

“The aftermath of nonviolence is the creation of a beloved community,” Martin Luther King Jr. said during his 1957 “The Birth of a New Nation” address in Montgomery, Ala. It was an ideal he advocated until his death in 1968.

More than 45 years later, the African-American Civil Rights Movement leader’s philosophy is widely practiced in the drive for social justice.

King’s work will be celebrated with two events at Rhode Island College - a documentary screening and a community lunch - in the week preceding Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

“The events are an effort to bring greater awareness to the spirit of the holiday as a day of reflection and proactivity,” said Antoinette Gomes, director of the Unity Center, which, along with the Feinstein School of Education and Human Development, Learning for Life and Student Activities, is sponsoring the Martin Luther King Jr. events.

On Jan. 15 at noon, the Academy-Award winning documentary “A Time for Justice” will be screened and followed by a discussion with Sal Monteiro, assistant director of training, Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence, on the practice of facilitating social change through nonviolence. The screening will be held in the Faculty Center South Dining Room.

The short film explores how nonviolence and direct actions spurred change during the Civil Rights Movement in the late 1950s and 1960s.

Monteiro and RIC student Adewole Akinbi, who has trained youth in peaceful conflict resolution through the AmeriCorps Volunteers In Service to America program, will lead a post-film debriefing and dialogue.

“Attendees will gain a better understanding of nonviolence and the impact it had and still can have when seeking justice and social change,” Monteiro said. “They will realize that an unjust system still has an impact on positive growth and on building Martin Luther King’s beloved community.”

The RIC community is invited to share their thoughts about King’s legacy, and how that legacy has impacted their lives and work, at the Beloved Community Lunch, from noon to 2 p.m. in the Unity Center.  

“People can talk about any work they do to carry out King’s teachings,” said Chris Petrin-Lambert, project manager, Learning for Life. “ They are invited to share their views as well on King’s beloved community ideal.”

For more information on Martin Luther King Jr. events, visit http://www.ric.edu/unitycenter/events.php.