Editor’s Note: This column was co-authored and written by Keith Daniel and Tom Droege, co-founders of Resilient Ventures and the co-hosts of an upcoming workshop series centered on entrepreneurship, economic justice, and a concept known as the Beloved Community initiated by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

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DURHAM – Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Philanthropy is commendable, but it must not cause the philanthropist to overlook the circumstances of economic injustice that makes philanthropy necessary.”

The launching of Resilient Ventures began long before we incorporated in 2018.  Our journey began in 2010 through courageous conversations in our home with a few of our closest friends.

And as we engaged, one of the most impactful books that we read and upon which we reflected was Disintegration: The Splintering of Black America by Eugene Peterson (NY: Doubleday, 2010).

Then, through intentional community, we learned and embraced the philosophies of asset-based and Christian community development.

What followed as our commitment to the wisdom and work of the Durham Pilgrimage of Pain and Hope through DurhamCares and the liberative work of a multiple Durham-based, non-profit organizations.  And in 2017, we designed and piloted a series entitled, Christianity (De)Constructs Racism©.

Now, we view our life and work to be rooted in the Jobs and Freedom Movement that our Civil Rights leaders envisioned, worked and died for and for which Dr. King gave such eloquent voice at the 1963 March on Washington.

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Our ‘ultimate end’

As Dr. King said during a speech in Raleigh, NC (April 15, 1960), “…There is another element that must be present in our struggle that then makes our resistance and nonviolence truly meaningful. That element is reconciliation. Our ultimate end must be the creation of the beloved community.”

Today, we’re thrilled to announce that we, Keith Daniel and Tom Droege, will lead four 90-min Zoom webinars covering content from the creation of race in America and the history of systemic racism integrating Dr. King’s work for economic justice and his goals for Beloved Community.

Across the series, which will begin on April 11, 2023, we’ll look at economic justice in America.  The economic justice content will look at Dr. King’s experiences from the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the March on Washington, his views on Philanthropy, merging in the stories of the U.S. Black Wall Streets and ending with King’s vision for Beloved Community.

Participants can choose from 3 sessions each week starting April 11th.  You only attend one time slot per week, but if you miss your regular session you can jump on another, in order to engage in the weekly content and workshop series.

This four part series, focused on entrepreneurship, economic justice and beloved community is our next intentional step moving from theory to practice. It is catalyzed by the understanding of movement leaders that the long arc of the moral universe bends towards justice.

We ask: How may we use our collective strength to achieve that bent?

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About the authors

Editor’s Note: Rev. Dr. Keith Daniel is cofounder and managing director for Resilient Ventures.  Following a 23 year career in higher education administration and director roles in multiple schools and departments at Duke and the Duke Health System, Keith has led several local and regional non-profit organizations. He is an Instructor/Special Projects at Duke Divinity School. He served as the interim director for the Office of Black Church Studies, Duke Divinity and Director of Duke’s 50th Anniversary Commemoration of Desegregation. He is a teaching assistant in graduate theological courses on Dr. King as well as Dr. Howard Thurman, one of King’s preeminent spiritual advisors.

Tom Droege is also cofounder and managing director for Resilient Ventures.  Tom’s private equity knowledge started in the 1960’s when he watched his dad go from startup to IPO with Applied Logic, a Princeton, NJ Computer Timesharing company.    He is the president of Droege Computing Services, Inc. a software development and IT services firm founded in 1985. Tom’s computing company took Angel funding as a result of the 1988 CED Venture Fair, but has self funded since then. Tom has built more than 30 enterprise systems including Auction Management, Inventory and Purchasing Systems, Patient Care Systems, and Toxicology.