#Unity

- A performance lecture -

"I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be."
- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Dialogues on Diversity was commissioned by the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Committee of Greater Attleboro Massachusetts to create an original keynote address for their 2017 MLK celebration at the John Wesley AME Church.  Based on their theme: "MLK & The Strength of Shared Dreams," we created a program that was part performance and part lecture.   We focused on MLK’s Poor Peoples Campaign as the best possible theme to build our work around.    

Through live character portrayal and video, “Shared Dreams” depicts how MLK’s “Poor Peoples Campaign” was a turning point in intersectional advocacy.  A broad cross-section of cultural groups came together to fight against poverty.  Had King lived to be the face of this young movement, it would have changed the way we look at race and social issues. We believe that it would have been a great leap forward in our American Civil Rights Story. 

When most people think of the American “Civil Rights Movement” they focus on the African American struggle of the 1950’s and 1960’s and within that, they focus on MLK as the figurehead of that movement. It is not that those things are inaccurate, it is more that they are incomplete.  Moreover, they paint an incomplete picture of the man and the nature of civil rights in America.  

– 'Shared Dreams,' performed at U Michigan, Jan. 18, 2018

King and Multiculturalism 

On March 12th 1968 King held his Minority Peoples Conference in Atlanta Ga.  It was designed to create a broad cross cultural coalition for his poor people's campaign.  It may have been the first diversity conference in U.S. history. 

Sadly, almost every other Martin Luther King, Jr. presentation I have attended prior (different colleges, libraries, celebrations), focused solely on his famous speech (don't get me wrong, very poignant speech). However, until today I didn't realize the depth of the impact he had leading up to that, and most likely after.

Program attendee

Mercy College
Toledo, OH

The topics you chose to highlight were both educational for me and motivational. I intend to work to decrease fear-barriers for minority groups that may choose not to access health care.

ROSE DISHMAN

Physical Therapy

University Health Service

Ann Arbor, MI

Since hosting the performance of MLK and the Strength of Shared Dreams I've been in conversation with many who attended. We all agree; the power of the work is it doesn't sugar coat the challenge, but also gives hope. Most importantly, it elucidates the resources we have today to carry the torch of Dr. King's vision toward the finish line.

Reverend Craig Schaub, Parkway United Church of Christ, Winston-Salem, NC

Long story short: AMERICA IS A CIVIL RIGHTS STORY

This country was founded on a series of ideas and principles, which were designed to raise human dignity.  From the religious freedom that brought the Pilgrims to Emancipation, to Women’s Suffrage and a multitude of other struggles, America’s story is one of human dignity. Much of our constitution is a testament to the civil rights moments, movements and (sadly) failures that define our national character.

MLK’s civil rights story was just the most recent in a long line. More importantly, by the mid 60’s MLK’s focus was expanding to encompass far more than he is generally given credit for.

– 'Shared Dreams' at AME Zion Church, North Attleboro, MA, Jan. 16, 2017

More Praise for 'Shared Dreams'

Rose Dishman, Physical Therapy Department, University of Michigan

January 18, 2018

When you became your character, you transformed into this other person. You are a fantastic actor.

Ethel B. Garvin, Chairperson, MLK Memorial Committee of Greater Attleboro

July 31, 2017

Without a doubt, I highly recommend Mr. Jones and Dialogues on Diversity to any organization looking to explore the issues of or to advance the cause of social justice. 

Program attendee, Mercy College, Toledo, OH

January 30, 2018

I can say I learned more in that hour and a half than I have in quite a long time.  Please let Ron Jones know of my appreciation of his time, wisdom, wit, and character! 

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PREVIOUS VENUES

Bunker Hill Community College

Boston, MA

Chemeketa Community College

Salem, OR

Harvey Mudd College
Claremont, CA

Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Committee of Greater Attleboro

Attleboro, MA

Mercy College of Ohio

Toledo, OH

Parkway United Church of Christ 
Winston-Salem, NC

Southern Connecticut State University

New Haven, CT

Tarleton State University

Stephenville, TX

University of Michigan School of Information

Ann Arbor, MI

University of Michigan Office of Public Health
Ann Arbor, MI

 

Here are the technical details on how we set up and run the show.

To bring 'Shared Dreams' to your venue, contact Dialogues on Diversity now!

– 'Shared Dreams' at Chemeketa Community College, Salem, OR, Jan. 25, 2018

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Tech Rider
(technical specifications)

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Brave theater that moves people to embrace cultural differences