Fifty years after a day known as Bloody Sunday, because of the unmitigated violence against marchers on the Edmund Pettus Bridge, the Selma Center for Nonviolence, Truth and Reconciliation was established near the bridge to address the continued violence and conflicts that still plague Selma and the Nation.
The founders of the Center include Dr. Bernard Lafayette, a comrade of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. Lafayette was a primary architect of Selma 1.0 (the Voting Rights Movement) and was nearly killed by white supremacists in Selma in 1963 while organizing youth for voting rights. Following Dr. King's mandate to “institutionalize nonviolence,” Dr. Lafayette, the Master Teacher for the Center, has taught nonviolence throughout the world for the past 40 years. Dr. Lafayette has returned to help create Selma 2.0: Finishing the Unfinished Business of bridging divides and building the Beloved Community. The unifying vision of the Center is to bring to fruition in Selma, Dr. King’s dream of the Beloved Community, while also functioning as a model for other communities across the U.S. to bring that same vision to life in their local context.
The Center works in nine sectors, partnering in institutional contexts to address the root causes of physical, mental, emotional, economic, political and racial violence—including racial profiling—with the two-pronged goal of implementing long-range solutions to systemic violence and building the Beloved Community. The implementation of the programs in each sector will occur according to our strategic plan timeline.
These nine sectors are:
- Family '
- Law/Justice System
- Community, Social, and Cultural Institutions
- Health Care and Well Being
- Faith Communities