When the Rev. Bernice King comes to Dallas this weekend, she’ll be reading from her children’s book, “It Starts With ME!” And she’ll be promoting a movement and message that’s a universal one for all ages.
“When I first envisioned “It Starts with ME!”, I wanted to target a younger demographic because I believe that if we truly want to change the dynamics of our world we must show and teach our children how to be compassionate, understanding, and love-centered individuals,” Rev. King told Texas Metro News. “However, this message is for all people. In order for us to build a beloved community, one must embody these attributes to help create a just, humane, equitable, and peaceful world.”
Galleria Dallas is hosting Dr. King, along with her co-author Dr. Kimberly Johnson on Saturday, August 20, 2022 at 13350 Dallas Parkway, Dallas, TX 75240 in level 3 near the Children’s Play Place.
According to Dr. King, in the book, young Amora encourages her friends to BE LOVE™ and shows them “how to open their hearts and minds by allowing love to drive their words, actions and thoughts.”
Dr. King said she believes there is the ability to create a world where love prevails and hate is diminished, but every one must do their part.
“We must make a conscious decision to choose love in every interaction we have with each other,” she explained. “We must learn how to solve problems and resist injustice without resorting to violence or inflicting harm or damage on someone, whether verbal, emotional, or physical. When everyone chooses love, even in our policy-making decisions, we all win!”
Dr. King is CEO of the Martin Luther King Jr. Center For Nonviolent Social Change (The King Center) and she has continued the legacy of her parents, Coretta Scott King and Dr. Martin Luther King; teaching nonviolent social change.
In It Starts With Me, there’s the premise that through love, a world can be created where everyone feels like they belong, in the Beloved Community, a place where each person finds what inspires them to make the world a better place.
More importantly, it is where everyone has an opportunity to live and grow. It Starts with Me! is a reminder that while we all can contribute to making the world better, we have to know that it starts with each of us taking a stand and finding our voice.
For Dr. King, much like her parents, love is important especially when you consider the “polarization and the divisiveness and the vitriol” in the nation.
“A time may arise where we are faced with conflict from a group or individual whose main goal is to upset us, suppress our freedom and privileges, or who is just plain mean spirited,” she said. “We must learn how to respond to the conflict and/or injustice in a love-centered way by addressing the conflict or injustice without demeaning the other person or attacking their character.
“To Be Love, your objective is not to defeat or destroy your opposition or adversary, but to come up with a just solution that is a win-win for both sides. When we act out of anger or seek to retaliate, we tend to attack the person instead of the true issue, which can lead to more violence and destruction; something that we should try and avoid.”
She continued, “My father said that ‘Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is love correcting everything that stands against love.’”
It is with that spirit that the BE LOVE™ movement is a priority for Dr. King.
“The world is full of so many damaged and hurt people who want to show love, but do not know how because all they know is pain, whether internally or externally. I want this next generation to understand it is okay to be loved and to BE LOVE,” she added. “We don’t have to wait around for anyone to make the first move, it starts with each one of us!
“That is one of the messages I hope our young readers learn from, ‘It Starts with ME!’”
A special kiosk will be onsite adjacent to the Play Place on both Friday, Aug. 19 and Saturday, Aug. 20, selling the book and other merchandise affiliated with the BE LOVE™ movement. All proceeds from sales of the book and other merchandise go to The King Center to further the mission of creating a more inclusive, just, humane and equitable world.
WHAT: It Starts with Me! Book reading and signing featuring authors Drs. Bernice King and Kimberly Johnson
WHEN: Saturday, Aug. 20, 2022
11:30 a.m. book reading 12:00 p.m. book signing
WHERE: Galleria Dallas 13350 Dallas Parkway, Dallas, TX 75240 Level 3 near the Children’s Play Place.
Books and other merchandise will be available for sale by The King Center