In observation of its 50th anniversty, Otto's Abode welcomed anyone to sit with us as we played and listened to a recording of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's famous "Beyond Vietnam" speech. It was advertised that there was to be a discussion following the 56min speech. Thanks to everyone who came out on such short notice to listen and share their reflections on this powerful message.

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Fifty years later, to walk in his footsteps, to give voice once again to his powerful words, and to kick off a year of efforts by many organizations around the U.S. to remind people of Dr. King’s real message and unfinished work, the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture and partners are sponsoring #RevolutionOfValues, a one-day National Action taking place on April 4th, 2017.

We call on artists, creative organizers, concerned citizens, and all community members to join together on April 4th, 2017, to draw inspiration from and breathe new life into the prophetic words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., strengthening our commitment to speak truth to power and sparking creative action in the year ahead.

April 4, 1967, marks a critical turning-point in the life of Dr. King. On that date—one year to the day before he was assassinated—he delivered a talk entitled “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence.” The occasion was a meeting of Clergy and Laity Concerned about Vietnam, held at Riverside Church in New York City.

The silence Dr. King was moved to break in the Riverside Speech had been imposed by people who told him Vietnam has nothing to do with civil rights, “‘Peace and civil rights don’t mix,’ they say. ‘Aren’t you hurting the cause of your people?’ they ask.’” That night, he responded with unparalleled eloquence and power: “We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy, for no document from human hands can make these humans any less our brothers.”
This is the most-quoted part of the Riverside Speech:

[W]e as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a “thing-oriented” society to a “person-oriented” society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.

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