2018 Essay Contest
In partnership with Dr. Virgil Wood, the School of Public and International Affairs at Virginia Tech and Virginia Union University, are pleased to announce the 2018 Beloved Community Initiative Essay Contest.
This contest provides junior and senior students at high schools across Virginia with the opportunity to explore exemplars of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s notion of the Beloved Community – a community based on social and economic justice and a common love for fellow human beings.
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.
Dr. King’s Beloved Community was not devoid of interpersonal, group or international conflict. Instead he recognized that conflict was an inevitable part of human experience. But he believed that conflicts could be resolved peacefully and adversaries could be reconciled through a mutual, determined commitment to nonviolence. No conflict, he believed, need erupt in violence. And all conflicts in The Beloved Community should end with reconciliation of adversaries cooperating together in a spirit of friendship and goodwill. Source: The King Center, The Beloved Community.
Dr. King Jr. often thundered “The moral arc of the universe is long but it bends toward justice,” quoting American Bards of generations gone. Dr. Woods life-long search for the elusive promised land of the American Dream led to the realization that at every point where the moral arc did bend, even ever so slightly, there stood a pair, or in some cases triplets, of Black and White ancestors of the Beloved Community. Sometimes these ancestors were not contemporaries, but they can be linked by the spirit they exemplified.
Through this essay competition, we invite junior and senior students at high schools across Virginia to choose one set of ancestors, and prepare an in-depth exploration of those two (or three) persons focusing on how the legacy of their life’s journey came together to advance the Beloved Community. The essays must be submitted by 6pm, April 4, 2018.
Submission Deadline: 6pm, April 4, 2018
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