April 4th marks the anniversary of Dr. King’s “Beyond Vietnam” speech. Just one year later he was assassinated. Each year, the commemoration of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. provides Veterans For Peace and the broader peace movement an opportunity to reflect on the ways that we are carrying on his legacy. Peace, social justice and King’s legacy come together as VFP continues to advance our Peace at Home, Peace Abroad lens by addressing the Triple Evils of War, Poverty and Militarism - and today we include environmental destruction, to build an all inclusive peace and justice movement.
In confronting the deeply rooted racism, militarism and materialism of the United States, Dr. King described the United States as the greatest purveyor of violence in the world. Delivered to an overflow crowd at the Riverside Church in New York City on April 4, 1967, Dr. King’s challenge to engage in a radical revolution of values encountered ferocious opposition.
Join Veterans For Peace in a discussion with other VFP members on the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King’s speech “Beyond Vietnam” and what it means today, especially in this moment of crisis.
Moderated by former Executive Director Michael McPhearson, he will be joined by Veterans For Peace members, Monique Salhab, Pete Doktor, Adrienne Kinne and Elliot Adams
Friday, April 3rd 4 p.m. (EDT), 3 p.m. (CDT), 2 p.m. (MDT), 1 pm (PDT)
Michael T. McPhearson recently moved to Seattle, Washington. He is learning about the city and preparing to participate in local positive change for peace and justice.
Michael was the executive director of Veterans For Peace from October 2013 to June 2019. He was a founding co-chair of the Don’t Shoot Coalition in Saint Louis, MO. Don’t Shoot was organized in the aftermath of Michael Brown, Jr.’s murder.
August 2010 to September 2013, Michael worked as the National Coordinator with United For Peace and Justice. He is a former board member of Veterans For Peace and as well as Executive Director from 2005 to 2010. He worked closely with the Newark based People’s Organization for Progress and Saint Louis centered Organization for Black Struggle. Michael also publishes MTMDaily.com expressing his views on war and peace, politics, human rights, race, and other things.
In 1981 at the age of 17, Michael joined the Army Reserve as an enlisted soldier and attended basic training the summer between his junior and senior high school years. He is an ROTC graduate of Campbell University in Buies Creek, North Carolina with a B.S. degree in Sociology. A native of Fayetteville North Carolina, Michael and was a field artillery officer in the 24th Mechanized Infantry Division during Desert Shield /Desert Storm, also known as Gulf War I.
Michael’s military career includes six years of reserve and five years of active duty service. He separated from active duty in 1992 as a Captain. During his time in the Army, he held numerous positions, attended Airborne School and received several awards. As a civilian, he has held positions with various profit and not-for-profit entities such as the card company Hallmark Marketing, Vincent Metal Goods, then the largest distributor of stainless steel in the United States, KWMU a nonprofit public radio station, the human relations not-for-profit National Conference for Community and Justice and as executive director of the not-for-profit Veterans For Peace.
He has been an active member of the Greater Saint Louis Association of Black Journalist, the American Civil Liberties Union, Military Families Speak Out and Veterans For Peace. He served on the Executive Committee of the St. Louis Branch of the NAACP and the Steering Committee of the Bring Them Home Now campaign.
Michael’s son joined the Army in January 2004 and served one tour in Iraq in 2005-2006. He separated from the military in 2007.
In December of 2003, Michael returned to Iraq as part of a peace delegation to examine the state of the occupation firsthand. He has spoken all over the U.S. to small gatherings and large crowds. He has also traveled to Istanbul Turkey and Bologna Italy as a speaker on the U.S. peace movement and world peace.
Monique is a Post-911 veteran who became a community organiser upon returning from war. She served as the Interim Co-director of the Albuquerque Center for Peace and Justice and previously as the Interim Community and Membership Director for the local cooperative. She also is a Lifetime Member of Veterans For Peace (VFP) and served on the National Board of Directors from 2015-2018. Monique is co-founder of RACED – a social justice equity team - actively engaging individuals and organisations to deconstruct white supremacist behaviours/culture and patriarchal constructs.
Pete Shimazaki Doktor, Honolulu (Moanalua)
Pete is a second-generation Okinawan (Uchinānchu) product-of-war in Ryūkyū (Okinawa). He was an army medic '86-'89 and recovering union public educator (People's History)
He is the co-founding member of VFP-O`ahu Ch. 113, VFP-ROCK (Okinawa Int'l Chapter) Ch. 1003, HOA (Hawai`i Okinawa Alliance) & Hawai`i Peace & Justice (formerly AFSC-Hawai`i). former Buddhist Peace Fellowship board member & coordinator for Hawai`i truth-in=recruiting & G.I. Rights Hotline.
Adrienne has been active in the peace movement since 2007, first with Iraq Veterans Against the War and currently with Veterans For Peace in the US and UK. She served stateside in the US Army from 1994 to 2004 as an Arabic linguist, having enlisted during her senior year of high school. She has an educational background in psychology and social work, with over ten years of experience in a variety of positions with the Veterans Administration. Since connecting with the Veteran peace movement, she has worked with organizations at the local, state, and national/international level. She is currently living in London with her husband and two daughters. Through the use of multiple online communications platforms, she has been able to maintain an active role on the board of VFP US and is also serving on the VFPUK policy group.