Our Mission

The World House Project is a new initiative of the Martin Luther King Jr. Research and Education Institute at Stanford University, formed in partnership with the Freeman Spogli Institute (FSI) as a part of the Center for Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law (CDDRL). The Project is named after King's allegory of the "World House," a vision of peaceful coexistence: 


Some years ago a famous novelist died. Among his papers was found a list of suggested plots for future stories, the most prominently underscored being this one: 'A widely separated family inherits a house in which they have to live together.' This is the great new problem of mankind. We have inherited a large house, a great 'world house' in which we have to live together — black and white, Easterner and Westerner, Gentile and Jew, Catholic and Protestant, Muslim and Hindu — a family unduly separated in ideas, culture and interest, who, because we can never again live apart, must learn somehow to live with each other in peace.


The Project works to realize King's prophetic vision by curating audiovisual resources, producing educational materials, and fostering collaboration between social justice organizations. The abundance of resources on Martin Luther King alone can make it difficult to sift through to the most important and valuable resources, such as historical footage or audio recordings, documentary films, and primary source documents. Our team brings together and frames the best of these resources to facilitate an enriched learning experience for anyone interested in the past, present, and future of the global freedom struggle.


Building upon these curated resources, the Project offers educational materials for use both in and out of the classroom. This includes a free online course produced with Stanford Online titled "American Prophet: The Inner Life and Global Vision of Martin Luther King, Jr.," a podcast on King's life and legacy, lesson plans on the African American freedom struggle and social justice, and a weekly forum of students, educators, and activists to discuss contemporary world politics and nonviolent social change. 


The Project also coordinates the Gandhi-King Global Network, a growing community of activists and social justice organizations around the world. Driven by the conviction that sustained and transformative change is best achieved through collaboration, the network meets regularly to spotlight noteworthy political work, invite prominent speakers, and facilitate an ongoing conversation on nonviolence, human rights, and democracy.


Founded in 2020, the World House Project is led by Dr. Clayborne Carson, MLK, Jr. Centennial Professor Emeritus at the Freeman Spogli Institute and Founding Director of the Martin Luther King Jr. Research and Education Institute.