A personal commitment to nonviolence in family relationships, neighborhoods and national politics can change the face of society, the president of Spokane Community College told the African American Forum on Thursday.
James H. Williams said Martin Luther King was his personal hero and that King’s message of nonviolence is as important today as ever.
“Nonviolence between and within families is the ultimate test of our human existence,” Williams told nearly 200 guests at the African American Forum held in honor of Monday’s Martin Luther King Jr. national holiday.
“Each of us needs to make a personal commitment to nonviolence,” Williams said. Such a commitment can end family abuse, throttle gangs and even change the course of national events through nonviolent protests.
Williams said each of us needs to set a good example in our communities and families by living moral, honorable lives. “Stand up and be counted even if you don’t make the evening news,” he said. “Stand up and let people know which side you are on. Some in our society are doers. Some in our society are listeners. And then there are some that are sleepers and they don’t know anything that is happening.”
Williams singled out young people and urged them to do their best in school.
“Sit in the front of the class,” he said. “Engage in dialogue with your teachers. Don’t settle for mediocrity,” he said to loud applause in a conference room at the Ridpath Hotel.