BY VICTORIA TRAVERS
Today we take a moment to commemorate, salute and remember legendary figure of liberty and nonviolent change, Martin Luther King, Jr. All over the world King is hailed as one of civilization’s most significant figures of freedom, justice and equality. Until his death on April 4 1968, King was committed to the fundamental change of America via non-violent activism. Among many of his achievements, in 1964 Martin Luther King, Jr. was the youngest person ever to win the Nobel Peace Prize. During his acceptance speech in Oslo he made one of the most powerful and repeated remarks in History:
“I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right temporarily defeated is stronger than evil triumphant.”
King’s focus on inspiring nonviolent activism to attain positive social change has inspired millions all over the globe. And we at Hollaback! are particularly inspired by Dr. King’s awesome legacy. King realized that racism, among other contentious issues, in America could not be altered “without radical changes in the structure of our society.” And we at Hollaback! know Street Harassment can only be eradicated with the alteration of deep-rooted social values and norms.
So we look to Dr. King’s Philosophy to strive for social change on the topic of Street Harassment. Dr. King developed this sequential process of peaceful conflict-resolution:
1. Information Gathering – The way you determine the facts, the option for change, and the timing of pressure for raising the issue is a collective process.
2. Education – The process for developing articulate leaders, who are knowledgeable about the issues. It is directed toward the community through all forms of media about the real issues and human consequences of an unjust situation.
3. Personal Commitment – Means looking at your internal and external involvement in the nonviolent campaign and preparing yourself for long-term as well as short-term action.
4. Negotiation – Is the art of bringing together your views and those of your opponent to arrive at a just conclusion or clarify the unresolved issues, at which point, the conflict is formalized.
5. Direct Action – Occurs when negotiations have broken down or failed to produce a just response to the contested issues and conditions.
6. Reconciliation – Is the mandatory closing step of a campaign, when the opponents and proponents celebrate the victory and provide joint leadership to implement change.
Be inspired. Join the revolution.