Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Dream Lives On

MLK Jr Family - Beloved Community

Michael Ochs Archives/Getty

We thrive together or we wither alone.

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles (Habitat LA) knows this, and that is why every day we work to put God’s love into action as we build homes and hope in partnership with our community, volunteers, donors and supporters.

Habitat LA is propelled by a vision of a world where everyone has a decent place to live. We devote ourselves to creating that world because we believe all people deserve the opportunity for a better future.

Dr. King believed this too – and he called this ideal the “Beloved Community.”

The Beloved Community is fair, just and built on love. Not just any love, but as Dr. King said, “the love of God operating in the human heart.” It is an applied love that requires participation to create tangible results – and when that love is truly and fully present, it compels us to act.

It’s part of Habitat’s legacy. We began at Koinonia Farm, an interracial community farm outside Americus, Georgia, founded in 1942 by farmer and biblical scholar Clarence Jordan. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Clarence and his fellow Koinonia residents were fiercely committed to the equality of all people and utterly devoted to creating opportunity for all. During a brief correspondence in the 1950s, Dr. King wrote to Clarence, noting the struggles that Koinonia faced from hostile neighbors. “I hope that you will gain some consolation from the fact that in your struggle for freedom and a true Christian community you have cosmic companionship.”

Our goal is to create a beloved community and this will require a qualitative change in our souls as well as a quantitative change in our lives.Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
It’s part of Habitat LA’s future. Born from the Koinonia vision, over the past 28 years we have grown into an organization serving a geographical expanse covering more than 85 percent of Los Angeles County. We believe that making homeownership accessible and affordable for low-income families is a critical component in creating the kind of future that Dr. King envisioned.

For as Dr. King so powerfully stated, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

With his emphasis on the Beloved Community, Dr. King gave us the blueprint for love and light in action. Folks of faith and perseverance, like Clarence Jordan, have stewarded it and advanced it. Now it’s up to us to make it a reality in Los Angeles.

In 2018, as we mark the 50th anniversaries of Dr. King’s tragic death and the passage of the Fair Housing Act just days later, Habitat renews our pledge to work harder than ever to help make the Beloved Community a reality.

Special thanks to the Habitat LA Long Beach Faith Coalition and local community leaders and elected officials who will come together to help build a home in the underserved Washington Neighborhood of Long Beach on April 7.