Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands

What did it mean to walk with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.?

The Gandhi King Institute turned to Wondros to develop a film, Traveling with Dr. King, that captured how Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. inspired his inner circle to take on risks and sacrifices in pursuit of equal rights.

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Opportunity:

Wondros had the privilege of serving a vision that celebrates the intersection of spirituality and activism in African American culture, which Dr. King’s leadership embodied.

Approach:

On the anniversary of what would have been MLK Jr.’s 90th birthday in January 2019, members of his inner circle, historians, and young activists convened for a historic retreat at Sunnylands to reflect on his legacy.

Wondros created a short film grounded in in-depth interviews to document the intimate stories of this prestigious group. They spoke to the personal impact of Dr. King’s leadership on their lives, their experiences traveling alongside him, and the importance of these lessons to shape modern nonviolent activism.

We captured each story from the lens of their personal experiences and touched on powerful, transformative moments, including how “I Have a Dream” sparked the transformation of southern black activism into a national, integrated movement.

Sunnylands filming participants included Dr. Clarence Jones, Harry Belafonte (renowned singer and activist), Andrew Young (former UN ambassador), Joan Baez (renowned folk singer and activist), Minnijean Brown-Trickey (one of the “Little Rock Nine”), and Taylor Branch (a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian).

Impact

The film served as a public-facing centerpiece for insight into the retreat’s accomplishments. It brought to life and preserved the important conversations and previously unearthed stories from those who fought bravely alongside Dr. King. The film helped Sunnylands’ goal of passing their wisdom on to a new generation and inspire a renewed commitment to non-violent activism.

The film was so well-regarded that our partnership with the civil rights movement’s elders grew into another short film, King of the Game, that aired live on TNT’s Inside the NBA on MLK Jr. Day in January 2020. King of the Game spoke to Dr. King’s connection to basketball and the importance of today’s athletes using their platform to carry on his message 50+ years later.