BENTONVILLE -- Fayetteville City Council member D'Andre Jones challenged Northwest Arkansas Community College students Monday to learn more about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
"Dr. King was a radical," Jones said. "He was progressive, but love was at his core."
Jones was the guest speaker at the college's program Monday honoring the slain civil rights leader. Martin Luther King Jr. Day was Jan. 16, but the college was closed that day.
Love has been the cornerstone behind every social justice movement, Jones said. His grandfather told him about the challenges of being a Black man in the South and about King, he said.
One of Jones' mentors advised him to read and learn about King, he recalled.
Jones said he advocates for people not just because it's the right thing to do; he does it out of love. He advised the audience to be empowered by love and not to focus on anger or frustration.
"Dr. King experienced frustration, but he didn't give up," Jones said. "He was empowered by love."
Jones said love can be an act of civil disobedience, but love can also shatter expectations. He asked the audience if they are willing to love to make a difference.
Jones said love conquers all while violence begets violence.
Gene Vinzant, a history professor at the college, said King would be 94 years old if he were alive today. Vinzant asked Jones if King were alive, how would he feel about today's conditions.
Jones said there are moments and achievements King would be proud of because there has been a lot of progress. Unfortunately there are still some battles going on that existed when King was alive, Jones said.
King would be ashamed of the progress that had not been made or obtained, Jones said.
One person asked Jones how to incorporate love into modern activism. Jones said focus on the love of those communities and what those communities need.