From terror to transformation

can the violence in Palestine-israel become a turning point for humanity? 

Ilan Pappe

Director of European
Center of Palestine
Studies, Univ. of Exeter

Rev. Dorsey Blake

NCOE, Church
for the Fellowship
of All Peoples

Huwaida Arraf

activist and lawyer

Ora Wise


Rashid Khalidi

Professor, author Columbia University

Jeff Halper

Dir. of Israeli’s Against
House Demolitions

Zoharah Simmons

National Council
of Elders

Joy Masha

NCOE Younger
Organizer Fellow

Frank Joyce

National Council
of Elders

Kathy Sanchez

Tewa Women United

Charles Simmons

National Council
of Elders

Breaking the silence on Decolonization

On June 14, 2023, the King and Breaking Silence Coalition hosted "Breaking the Silence on Decolonization."
In 1967 Dr. King said he could "never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today, my own government."
What does this revolution look like in our culture of violence today?14

Watch the Decolonization Webinar

Featuring Our Panelist

Dina Gilio-Whitaker

Author of "As long as Grass Grows: The Indigenous Fight for Envirormental Justice, from Colonization to Standing Rock"

S. Lily Mendoza

Professor Oakland University Between the Homeland and Diaspora of Politics of Theorizing Filipino and Filipino American Identities

Lisa Natividad

Professor at the University of Guam. Primary convener of the Guahan Coalition for Peace and Justice.

Play Video

On our Culture of Violence

on the anniversary of his historic Riverside Church speech in 1967…

Join us for a conversation on Dr. King’s call for a radical revolution in values against 

Join us for a conversation on Dr. King’s call 

for a radical revolution in values against 

racism, militarism and materialism

What does this revolution look like


Tues. April 4, 2023, 7pm ET

Breaking the silence on our Culture of Violence

On April 4, 2023, the 56th anniversary of his historic Riverside Church speech in 1967, the King and Breaking Silence Coalition hosted "Breaking the Silence on our culture of violence." It was the second in our "Breaking the Silence" series.
Dr. King called for a radical revolution in values against the triple evils of racism, militarism and materialism.
What does this revolution look like in our culture of violence today?


You can view the Meeting chat here.

Our panelists included:

Medea Benjamin, CODEPINK

Ash-Lee Woodard Henderson, Highlander Center

Loretta Ross, Smith College, 2022 MacArthur Fellow

Rev. Alba Onofrio, Soulforce

PG Watkins, The Boggs Center

Q&A / Chat

We appreciate your point of view. Directly and indirectly Rev King’s speech touches on those points.  We hope you will join us on June 14 when our Decolonization webinar will include discussion of the Papal Doctrine of Discovery and its ongoing impact.  [Frank]


I certainly agree that capitalism and democracy are at odds with each other. [Don]

I agree that the peace movement must direct appeals to our US administration and Congress to 1.) withdraw from NATO, 2) Renew the nuclear weapons agreements between the US and Russia. We have no control over what the Russians or Ukrainians do and we have little control over the Biden Administration or Congress but we must use the power we do have. 

  1. Ellen Barfield: The speech is still so powerful. I remember reading the Riverside Speech on the banks of the Tigris River in Baghdad on Dr King’s birthday 15 Jan, 2003, with an international group of the Iraq Peace Team hoping still to head off the looming US attack. Oh my.
  2. Karen Richter: Chrissy Stonebraker Martinez, Thank you for the SURJ link It feels good to have homework. 🥰☮️

Chrissy Stonebraker Martinez (they/them): Karen, you can thank another community member who forwarded it to me! Also look up, Becoming Abolitionist by Derecka Purnell. There are so many great resources around this topic coming out regularly. I’m looking forward to Mariame Kaba and Kelly Hayes’ new book, Let This Radicalize You

3. Chiquita Williams: Even King distanced himself from communism


A.) Don Bryant (he/him): It was a different time then when King distanced himself.

B.) King and Breaking Silence Coalition: The FBI & others said that Dr. King was a Communist. When you read Dr. King’s speeches toward the end of his life, he spoke out against the capitalism practiced here in the US. His calling our country out on its Triple Evils, Militarism, Materialism and Racism. Many of us believe this is why Dr. King was assassinated!


4. For those in the Christian churches, we have to stop talking about military soldiers in the same way we talk about Jesus as a substitutionary sacrifice.  I.e., they go and die so that we don’t have to.  We send them with zero thought.  And then, we call them heroes.  I am a 20 year military veteran.  I know.

5. Vietnam and Cuba had close relations with Ukraine and have not supported Russia.  No one characterizes Russia and Putin as communist.   A significant sector of the right, including Trump and DeSantis are carrying water for the Russians because they see them as an expression of white nationalism against the morally corrupt and sexually confused US and Europe.  I agree that NATO’s expansion is a provocative factor.  But remember that Russia and China for reasons of their own strategic interests provided indispensable aid to Vietnam against US aggression.

Breaking the silence: Reimagining King's vision, The fierce urgency of now
Jan. 15, 2023

1000 people registered to watch our January 15th Webinar live and it was truly powerful


You can view the Meeting chat here.  Join the Peace in Ukraine coalition. 

Sign up at FORUSA.ORG to be part of the campaign we are building to conscientiously object to all forms of violence and hatred.  

Connect with The Poor Peoples Campaign’s state coordinating committees by signing up online or texting MORAL at 38542.  

Demand that President Biden used Executive Action to Cancel Student Debt. Organize local readings of Breaking the Silence. 

You can find a toolkit here. Connect with organizations working on Transformative Justice in your community. 

Listen to “The Nerve” podcast and discuss with friends. Join faith leaders from across New York on Feb 13th for Religion in a Time of Crisis.

2022 Virtual Gathering

2022 Virtual Gathering where well-known artists, organizers, and advocates were joined by grassroots organizers commemoratively read Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s historic “Beyond Vietnam: Breaking the Silence” speech. It was an inspiring program with a moderated panel discussion, offering perspectives about the relevance of Dr. King’s speech to peace and justice work today..


Speaking at New York’s Riverside Church exactly one year before he was murdered in Memphis, Dr. King delivered a prophetic speech that caused him to be sharply rebuked by the establishment media and many former allies. King said that America’s war machine, then waging a bloody imperial war in Viet Nam, was blocking progress towards justice at home and choking democracy both in the U.S. and abroad. King’s address was called “Beyond Viet Nam: A Time to Break Silence.” The speech remains prophetic today, as resonant and relevant as ever..