Dr. Vincent Harding speaks about Dr. King and A Time to Break Silence.

National Council of Elders

We are 20th century organizers committed to the theory and practice of nonviolence, united to engage with organizers of the 21st century.

We are urgently called to this mission by the escalation of all forms of violence and the rise of anti-democratic forces.

We are working toward a United States free of the domination of racism, sexism, militarism, materialism, economic inequality, and the destruction of the natural world.

Why Now

April 4, 2017, will be the 50th anniversary of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s speech Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence.

In confronting the deeply rooted racism, militarism and materialism of the United States, Dr. King described the United States as the greatest purveyor of violence in the world.

Delivered to an overflow crowd at the Riverside Church in New York City on April 4, 1967, Dr. King’s challenge to engage in a radical revolution of values encountered ferocious opposition.

Breaking the Silence

The National Council of Elders is resolved to join with others to once again break this deadly silence. We will organize group readings of the Dr. King’s speech on April 4, 2017. We ask schools, churches, civil rights groups, labor organizations, museums, community organizations, and others to join us in building this movement to break silence, promote dialogue and engage in nonviolent direct action.

“ 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. – Dr. King