As we commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we are reminded of what the nonviolent icon said 56 years ago:
“The Triple Evils of poverty, racism, and militarism are forms of violence that exist in a vicious cycle. They are interrelated, all-inclusive, and stand as barriers to our living in the Beloved Community. When we work to remedy one evil, we affect all evils.’
Through his words and actions, the King helped us imagine a new way of living together, even as he laid bare the realities of injustice and violence that have shaped our nation and still demand correction today. He helped us understand how systems of oppression and violence are interconnected and that we need interconnected solutions.
The vision of a new society that King laid out for us—a beloved community binding us together—still beckons our attention and begs our action today. Can we imagine a new politics for the United States? One based on lifting the dignity of each person and creating safe, just, and thriving communities for all. Can we move Congress and U.S. policy closer to this vision?
Building a more just and peaceful world—one that embodies King’s vision of a beloved community—is not just a dream. If we work together, it can be made real.
This month, FCNL and our partner, the Center for International Policy, hosted a gathering of leaders from different advocacy groups, think tanks, research institutions, and grassroots movements working for peace, justice, and environmental stewardship to envision such a world.
With the help of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the Jubitz Foundation, we met to brainstorm new ways of working together across our movements to address the profound structural violence and injustice of racism and militarism that undergirds U.S. foreign policy.
Throughout our conversations, we were reminded of the three evils King spoke of, and we were encouraged by the connections we are building to address these problems in the world today.
We explored how we can better connect domestic racial justice movements with global peace movements. We affirmed the need to address the climate crisis and inequalities of our economic system as part of our peace and justice work. We imagined the voices of those most impacted being at the center of our movements and leading the change we need, and we planned steps toward living into that reality.
The evils of poverty, racism, and militarism are still at work in our country and world. The FCNL community, through our commitments around Anti-racism, Anti-bias, Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, is working to dismantle them. Building a more just and peaceful world—one that embodies King’s vision of a beloved community—is not just a dream. If we work together, it can be made real.