Allen Calvin speaks on his life, his experiences with MLK Jr. at De Anza birthday event2 min read

Michael Mannina

Celebrating Martin Luther King’s birthday, a friend of his spoke to a small group at De Anza College on Jan. 18.

Dr. Allen Calvin, educator and psychologist, spoke  Tuesday evening in the Campus Center. Calvin is the president of Palo Alto University and the Pacific Graduate School of Psychology.

Calvin talked about his work with King during the turbulent Civil Rights years. Martin’s driving force, according to Calvin, was his faith in God. God wanted to have a just, fair and equitable world and this was  the message King lived by.

Martin lived by the Golden Rule, Calvin said. The Golden Rule, in a nutshell, states that you treat people the way you want to be treated.

A man in the crowd asked Calvin why he worked with King, knowing the dangers of what he could be getting into.

“Cowards taste death many times, brave men die but once,” Calvin said.  He told the audience that one has to live life; life can’t be lived talking the safe route all the time. 

There is far too much fear in today’s world, with the current global climate among other things. “Be strong, be courageous, take risks,” he said.

Calvin, after the event, talked more about King. He said that, in the end, King was a man of God who believed in the importance of faith.

The celebrations, according to Calvin, are wonderful. “But they have missed the essential ingredient in Martin’s life. He was a pastor who believed in the importance of redemption and non violence.”

Over the years, King lost that “wonderful quality” about himself, one you don’t ever hear, and that is has lived a faith-based life, Calvin said.

Calvin said that people think King was solely an advocate for African Americans. But by the end of his life, King was an advocate for all people.

The event was presented by the Student Council of the  Palo Alto University Psychology and Social Action program at De Anza College.

For more information about Dr. Calvin, go to

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