Building the Beloved Community
|Martin Luther King, Jr. (photo courtesy of Library of Congress)|
The Building the Beloved Community issue committee is based on the teachings of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King. "Dr. King’s Beloved Community is a global vision, in which all people can share in the wealth of the earth. In the Beloved Community, poverty, hunger and homelessness will not be tolerated because international standards of human decency will not allow it. Racism and all forms of discrimination, bigotry and prejudice will be replaced by an all-inclusive spirit of sisterhood and brotherhood. In the Beloved Community, international disputes will be resolved by peaceful conflict-resolution and reconciliation of adversaries, instead of military power. Love and trust will triumph over fear and hatred. Peace with justice will prevail over war and military conflict. For Dr. King, The Beloved Community was not a lofty utopian goal to be confused with the rapturous image of the Peaceable Kingdom, in which lions and lambs coexist in idyllic harmony. Rather, The Beloved Community was for him a realistic, achievable goal that could be attained by a critical mass of people committed to and trained in the philosophy and methods of nonviolence."
It is in this spirit that the Building the Beloved Community issue committee works to bring racial justice to the forefront of WILPF's work. While all forms of discrimination need to be addressed, the BBC committee is addressing racial justice. If we take the words from Dr. King, in the above paragraph, we can apply those words to each of our issues. Racial justice does not happen in a vacuum. Racial justice is not one issue that stands alone. Racial justice is what we strive for each and every day when we work for economic justice, a nuclear free world, safe water as a human right, peace in the middle east, lifting the Cuba blockade, denouncing corporate personhood and demanding " no more war."
Most likely, if Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King were alive today, he would be on of the leaders of the Occupy movement. As we connect and organize with the local Occupy movements, look around and see how many people of color are involved. How many people of color are taking leadership roles? Have there been efforts to engage and inform people of color?
We would like to know what is being done on the local level in addressing racial justice and how we can enhance the racial justice work that is being done. Committee members have developed a short survey that is being sent out to the branches and is available to all members of WILPF. We are asking that time be taken at a monthly meeting to discuss the questions on the survey. We hope that you will have thoughtful discussions and that the survey will create dialogues that will enhance the work that you are doing or have you look deeper into your work and bring a racial justice lens to the forefront.
The results of this survey will be published so that we can all learn from each other. Thank you in advance for your cooperation and participation. Please take the survey below or send your answers to the following questions to Chris Morin at firstname.lastname@example.org by April 30, 2012.
Thank you for your support!
1. Are you familiar with the Building the Beloved Community issue committee and the resources that are on the WILPF website?
2. What issue committees are your branch involved in? Is there a racial justice lens that you can apply to this work? For instance: If you are involved with theWater Issue committee, have you researched how the water issue affects Native Americans: ie. who is exploiting their land and ruining the water supply? Can you act to expose polluters of the land?
3. If you have participated in the racial justice workshop, what follow up has occurred? If no follow up has occurred, what are the challenges?
4. What racial justice issues currently exist in your community? Are you involved in these issues? For instance: Is the prison population high for young black men? Why is that? Is racial profiling a practice that effects the Muslim community?
5. What resources and/or consultation would be helpful in your racial justice work?
6. Would receiving articles via email, concerning racial issues, be helpful? If so, please provide your email address.