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Dr. Bernice King speaks at Seminole State

Dr. Bernice King speaks at Seminole State College on March 19.

Dr. Bernice King, youngest daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., brought a message of nonviolence and social change to Seminole State College of Florida in a speech on Wednesday, March 19. 

“What matters is where you stand in moments of conflict and controversy – not in moments of comfort,” King told an audience of nearly 400 students, faculty, staff and community members. “We suffer from ADD … approval deficit disorder. It takes courage and strength to be firm and resolute in what you believe in – to be able to stand firm when the majority thinks another way. My father knew that not everybody got it.”

King, CEO of the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, was on campus as part of the Seminole State College Speaker Series, which focused on the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and the Civil Rights Act of 1964. During her speech, King outlined the six steps to nonviolent social change based on MLK’s teachings.

“The philosophy and methodology of nonviolence works,” King said. “At the heart of the philosophy is reconciliation; it’s about the dignity and the value of the other person. We’ve got to find a way to educate and instill nonviolence into our culture. We have got to get nonviolence into the culture of America.”

Following King’s address, Sanford Vice Mayor Velma Williams presented Dr. King with a key to the city. Also, four Seminole High School students took an oath of nonviolence and were met with hugs from Dr. King.

The event was part of a month-long collegewide nonviolence campaign. Events include a film presentation, a student-led workshop and a library exhibit. The College also connected the nonviolence message through photos on the College’s website, social media channels and on the electronic marquees. The College also partnered with the King Center, which launched its “100 Days of Nonviolence” campaign in January to encourage students and others to use #choosenonviolence in their social media posts.

Following the speech, Seminole State students wait in line to greet Dr. King at a book signing. Read to Succeed, the College's Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), provided free books for students who attended the event.

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