Dr. King’s legacy includes a six-step strategy for developing a nonviolent campaign. These steps are not necessarily linear in their application but coterminous; each continues throughout the campaign.
We often view the Six Steps as phases or cycles of a campaign rather than steps because each of them embodies a cluster or series of activities related to each of the other five elements. Each of the steps is present in every aspect of the nonviolent campaign. They are presented separately here for better understanding.
STEP 1: INFORMATION GATHERING
The way you determine the facts, the options for change and the timing of pressure for raising the issue is a collective process.
STEP 2: EDUCATION
Is the process of developing articulate leaders, who are knowledgeable about the issue.
STEP 3: PERSONAL COMMITMENT
Means looking at your internal and external involvement in the nonviolent campaign and preparing yourself for long-term as well as short term action.
STEP 4: NEGOTIATION
Is the art of bring together your views and those of your opponent to arrive at a just conclusion or clarify the unresolved issues, at which point, the conflict is formalized.
STEP 5: DIRECT ACTION
Occurs when negotiations have broken down or failed to produce a just response to the contested issues and conditions.
STEP 6: RECONCILIATION
Is the mandatory closing step of a campaign, when the opponents and proponents celebrate the victory and provide joint leadership to implement the change.
From “The Briefing Booklet: An Orientation to the Kingian Nonviolence Conflict Reconciliation Program and The Leaders Manual,”
© Bernard LaFayette, Jr. & David C. Jehnsen