SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – Martin Luther King day brings a lot of celebration, honor, and reverence, but here in Utah, they added a fun way to teach Martin Luther King’s six principles of nonviolence and help kids learn to code.

The Utah Martin Luther King Jr. Human Rights Commission partnered with the Utah Jazz, The Utah Division of Multi-Cultural Affairs, Goldman Sachs, and L3Harris Technologies to bring the special coding event for kids.

Through coding games and activities, the students learn about nonviolence principles and hear why they are fundamentally important from the Commission. The kids get free stuff courtesy of the Jazz, Sacs, and L3Harris Technologies.

Jocelyn, one of the students said, “I liked how we got to learn something and also have fun while learning.”

What are the six principles of nonviolence? According to the King Center, “The fundamental tenets of Dr. King’s philosophy of non-violence is described in his first book, Stride Toward Freedom. Dr. King often said he got his techniques from Jesus Christ and his techniques from Mohandas K. Gandhi.” (Mahatma” means the great-souled one.) He taught the techniques should be embraced as a lifestyle.

  • Principle One: Nonviolence is a way of life for courageous people. It is active nonviolent resistance to evil. It is aggressive, spiritually, mentally, and emotionally.
  • Principle Two: Nonviolence seeks to win friendship and understanding. The result of nonviolence is redemption and reconciliation. The purpose of nonviolence is the creation of the Beloved Community.
  • Principle Three: Nonviolence seeks to defeat injustice, not people. The nonviolent resister seeks to defeat evil, not people.
  • Principle Four: Nonviolence holds that suffering for a cause can educate and transform people and societies. Nonviolence accepts suffering without retaliation. Unearned suffering for a cause is redemptive and has tremendous educational and transforming possibilities.
  • Principle Five: Nonviolence chooses love instead of hate. Nonviolence resists violence of the spirit as well as the body. Nonviolent love is spontaneous, unmotivated, unselfish, and creative.
  • Principle Six: Nonviolence believes that the universe is on the side of Justice. The nonviolent resister has deep faith that justice will eventually win. Nonviolence believes that God is a God of Justice.

A student named Jacob said, “My favorite was the reading comprehension one because the speech was very interesting and the take on education and the take on intelligence and character and how that makes a person.”

According to a release sent to ABC4, “Simba Maponga, Vice-Chair of the Martin Luther King Jr. Human Rights Commission and Vice President in the Engineering Division at Goldman Sachs, says the event will help teach students vitally important information for today’s world.”

“The MLK Day celebration is a wonderful opportunity to honor Dr. King and his legacy of nonviolent protest and to help prepare the upcoming generation to achieve their full potential,” Maponga said. ‘Dr. King’s 6 principles of nonviolence serve as a guide to building understanding and unity, which is as important now as ever. The Code Your Escape exercise will not only spark dialogue about Dr. King but will also teach participants about coding, math, and other essential STEM principles that will prepare them for the future.”

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is celebrated on the third Monday of January every year. It celebrates Dr. King’s nonviolent activism for the civil rights movement. The holiday is celebrated in the United States and Canada, Israel, Japan, and the Netherlands.

Click here to download the ABC4 Utah News app for the first alerts on your phone. Sign up for the ABC4 Utah breaking news and daily newsletters.