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50 days of non-violence urged

April 4, 2013 at 8:05 PM

ATLANTA, April 4 (UPI) -- A 50-day campaign to curb U.S. youth violence began Thursday, the anniversary of the slaying of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., organizers said.

The anti-violence effort is being spearheaded by The King Center in Atlanta, the organization that carries on King's civil rights work said in a release.

The center is calling on youth to shun violence for the remainder of the school year.

"We mark the 45th anniversary of the assassination of my father, Martin Luther King Jr. with a challenge to young people to study, embrace and practice nonviolence," King Center Chief Executive Officer Bernice A. King said.

"As my father said, 'The choice is no longer between violence and non-violence. It is either non-violence or non-existence,' and we believe young people have a leadership role to play in creating a nonviolent society."

The National Park Service, the Fulton County, Ga., government and other groups are joining with the center to promote non-violence.

"The King Historic Site proudly joins The King Center in this wonderful project," Judy Forte, superintendent of the MLK National Historic Site, said.

"Educating young people about Dr. King's teachings is an excellent way to honor his life and leadership."

Students are encouraged to log on to the King Center Tumblr page at http://thekingcenter.tumblr.com/ for daily updates and personal messages. The conversation about non-violence will also continue on twitter @KingCenterATL with the hashtag #50DAYSNONVIOLENCE.

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