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Education Chairman Brings Peace To MLK Family

 

[San Francisco] The New York Times credits Landmark Education's Chairman of the Board, Terry M. Giles, with helping to heal a rift among the children of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

A judge appointed Mr. Giles to work with the three siblings, who had been publicly estranged.  But last month, the surviving King children—Bernice, Dexter and Martin III—celebrated a new era, issuing statements about their "shared vision" and "speaking with one voice," the Times reports. The article, titled "Hired to Bring Order, Kings' Adviser Brings Peace," appeared Monday.

 

According to the article by Shaila Dewan, what made the difference was the arrival of Giles, an accomplished attorney, businessman and Pepperdine University Regent who used his business acumen and Landmark Education strategies to help the family work through its complicated challenges.

 

Just a few months ago, Dr. King's three surviving children were embroiled in a public feud and were about to go to trial. On the eve of the trial, the siblings agreed to work with a court-appointed custodian, and each side was invited to submit three names. Giles attracted their attention because of his past work with other complicated, high-profile family situations. After an interview with the judge and lawyers, Giles was the consensus choice, the article explains.

Giles was appointed in December by a Superior Court judge to temporarily take over King Inc., the Atlanta corporation that controls Dr. King's intellectual property and that was at the center of the familial dispute. He was also charged with restructuring The King Center, the nonprofit organization that is the official, living memorial of Dr. King, houses some of the King archives, and conducts research, education and training in the principles, philosophy and methods of nonviolent social change.

 

The judge gave Giles the power to rewrite bylaws and policies; to negotiate contracts, including one for a proposed DreamWorks biopic of Dr. King; and even, "if deemed appropriate," to fire Dexter King, the president of King Inc., the article states.

 

Instead, Giles publicly vindicated Dexter King, saying he did not overcharge The King Center for a consulting contract. Giles persuaded the Kings to expand the board of The King Center and reinstate Martin III, who had been ousted after a fight with his brother, as the center's president and chief executive.

 

"Perhaps most significantly, he appears to have brokered peace among the siblings, who lost their mother, Coretta Scott King, in 2006, and their elder sister, Yolanda King, in 2007, and who began to sue one another in 2008," the article says.

 

Strained relationships under the harsh glare of the public spotlight have dogged the King family for some time. Giles makes the point that his involvement and Landmark's tools for authentic and effective communication and relationships would have made no difference, had the King family members not been committed to making the resolution happen. 

 

"It was an honor to be able to support the King family in this way," Giles says. "Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was the leader of America's greatest nonviolent movement for justice, equality and peace, and The King Center is the institutional guardian of that legacy. I was very impressed and inspired by the King family's commitment to move forward and ensure their father's vision is advanced for future generations."

 

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Landmark Education, a leader in the personal and professional growth, training and development industry, has impacted millions of people's lives through its programs and the initiatives created from those programs, including more than 100,000 community projects worldwide. In The Landmark Forum, Landmark's flagship program, people cause breakthroughs in their performance, communication, relationships, effectiveness and overall satisfaction. For more information, visit www.landmarkeducation.com.

 

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