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Dr. Matt Daniels discusses his MLK educational initiative at Harvard

Above, left to right: Coach Tommy Amaker, Coach Clint Bryant, Congressman Joe Kennedy III, Dr. Matthew Daniels, Dr. Vern Howard 

On October 12, IWP professor Dr. Matthew Daniels presented his Martin Luther King, Jr. Educational Initiative at the Harvard Breakfast Club.

The MLK initiative is an educational campaign to raise up a new generation of champions for the non-violent principles of Dr. King at a time of rising violence in our nation. It has produced a curriculum called Civil Rights: A Global Perspective that is offered through McGraw Hill Education. It is designed to show young leaders the principles of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the ways they can be prepared to tackle human rights issues.

The last speaker at the Harvard Breakfast Club was former President Barack Obama.

During the event, two of the MLK Educational Initiative coalition leaders for the MLK Initiative also spoke: Coach Clint Bryant and Dr. Vern Howard.

Coach Clint Bryant is the founding Co-Chair of the Andrew Young HBCU Scholarship Program that has been developed the MLK Educational Initiative to encourage future generations of students to become ambassadors for the vision of Dr. King and Ambassador Young.  Coach Bryant has mentored generations of African-American athletes and coaches through his role as Co-Founder of the Minority Opportunities Athletics Association.  He served as Athletic Director of August University for more than 20 years.  He is a Georgia leader in 100 Black Men of America and a member of the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame.

At the event, he commented: “We have all seen the world-changing good that can result from a single life like that of Dr. King or Ambassador Young.  Our goal in launching the Andrew Young Scholarship program is to help raise up a new generation of ambassadors for the vision of Dr. King and Ambassador Young to our nation and our world.”

Dr. Vern Howard is the Co-Chair of the Colorado Committee for the MLK Educational Initiative.  For several decades, he has served as Chair of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Colorado Holiday Commission, the organizers of the nation’s largest MLK parade (Marade) that takes place annually in Denver and major cities across Colorado.  He was also a leader in the campaign to have Dr. King’s holiday recognized as a state holiday in Colorado.

At the breakfast, he said: “Social science research has extensively validated Dr. King’s commitment to pursuing justice through non-violence.  In fact, the Harvard Gazette has reported on studies showing that non-violent resistance is more effective in creating broad-based change than violence.”

Also at the breakfast were former Congressman Joe Kennedy III, grandson of Robert F. Kennedy, and Head Coach Tommy Amaker of Harvard Men’s Basketball.

At the event, Dr. Daniels commented: “Buffalo recently witnessed a mass shooting committed by a racist who was inspired, recruited, and weaponized online. This is a copy of what we have seen for many years with terrorist organizations overseas.  As we’ve learned internationally, it is critical to also play educational offense for the ideas that can inoculate minds against ideologies of racism and violence.”