Duane Johns        

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a man of great stature, once spoke about the creation of a beloved community.  A man of great wisdom, King envisioned the birth of a beloved community through the creation of integration, genuine inter-group personal living and non-violence.  Several organizations strive to achieve King’s dream of a beloved community.  These organizations focus on education, equality and the integration of minorities across the nation.  Before examining a local organization striving to achieve King’s dream of a beloved community, one must     

determine King’s definitions of a beloved community.


I do not think of political power as an end. Neither do I think of economic power as an end.  They are ingredients in the objective that we seek in life.  And I think that end or that objective is a truly brotherly society, the creation of the beloved community,” (1996 Interview).  In this quote, King explains that political and economic power is the driving forces people tend to strive for.  King states that through economic and political empowerment, a beloved community is created.  Organizations focusing on education, economic equality and political justice are organizations that strive to achieve the beloved community.  An organization that continues to advance toward achieving a beloved community is the Long Beach Community Improvement League.


Established in 1964, the Long Beach Community Improvement League helps fight poverty in the Long Beach community.  Poverty is the main force impeding the creation of a beloved community.  Poverty prevents most people from getting a good education.  Poverty also prevents people from becoming politically involved.  The lack of wealth tends to lead toward a nonproductive life for most people.  Helping thousands of children and families, the Long Beach Community Improvement League has helped create as atmosphere conducive of a beloved community.


The Long Beach Community Improvement League dreams of a strong and self-sufficient community.  This dream includes economic empowerment and the advancement of the Long Beach residents.  This dream is the foundation of King’s beloved community.  “Today, our mission stands as it had for forty years; to create quality public service programs to empower the community economically, socially and culturally,” (www.lbcil.org).  This mission is similar to the preaching’s of King. King envisioned a world or empowerment, in which all people were created equal.  The goals, mission and visions of the league are that of a beloved community.


The Community Improvement League had had such an impact on the Long Beach community, such organizations as the city of Long Beach NAP, the California Department of Education and the United Way continue to donate funds to the organization.  The league is instrumental in helping disadvantaged children achieve educational and economical equality.  King’s dream is kept alive through this organization.  With such programs as the Preschool Program, Child Care Food Program, Child Development Careers Project and the Workforce Investment Act, the league prepares disadvantaged inner city youth for a bright and productive future.  Each one of these programs is instrumental in the operations of the organization.


By Duane Ryan Johns: a “Local Organization Striving To Achieve Dr. Martin Luther King’s, Dream of a Beloved Community with an Ultimate Goal of Integration, January 2007