Martin Luther King Jr. and Leadership: Building the Beloved Communities within the Academy
Leaders seek to build communities to further the work of universities, but vibrant communities embracing our differences and, at times, animosities remain elusive. However, King’s (Smith & Zepp, 1974) concept of the Beloved Community provides an image about how this might be possible. While abstract, King’s idea offers compelling linkages to servant leadership (Greenleaf, 1977) and how to counter the destructive, rivalistic behaviors (Kirwan, 2005) prevalent in higher education. King (1991) outlines three principles: 1) the sacredness of humans, 2) the need for freedom, and 3) the recognition of interdependence. Each principle is described and applied to the higher education context and then explored through the lenses of mimetic theory (Girard, 1989) and servant leadership.
Hillis, Michael and Kline, Frank
"Martin Luther King Jr. and Leadership: Building the Beloved Communities within the Academy,"
International Journal of Leadership and Change: Vol. 5:
1, Article 4.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wku.edu/ijlc/vol5/iss1/4