Author Marshall King ‘92 to discuss new book ‘Disarmed: The Radical Life and Legacy of MJ Sharp’

Marshall King ‘92 will be at Eastern Mennonite University Wednesday, Feb. 16, to speak about his new book “Disarmed: The Radical Life and Legacy of MJ Sharp” (Herald Press, 2022). The convocation begins at 10:10 a.m. in Lehman Auditorium and will be livestreamed at EMU’s Facebook Live page [you do not need to be a member of Facebook to watch.]

The same evening, King will also be at Brothers Craft Brewing at 6:30 p.m. for a reading and interview with Professor Mark Metzler Sawin. Watch at EMU’s Facebook Live page. 

On Thursday, Feb. 17, Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community hosts a 2 p.m. gathering. King will be interviewed by EMU President Emeritus Loren Swartzendruber. This event is not livestreamed. Watch for the recording to be posted after the event on VMRC’s Vimeo site under the title “Meet the Author, Marshall V. King.”

The book tells the story of Michael “MJ” Sharp ‘05, whose commitment to peace and peacebuilding led him to work with Mennonite Central Committee and the United Nations.

Sharp’s murder on 2017 while working with the United Nations as an armed group expert sent shockwaves around the world. He was ambushed with UN colleague Zaida Catalán of Sweden, who was also killed. The investigation into his death is ongoing; dozens were sentenced to death in late January.

King’s book “explores what compelled Sharp to travel the world working for peace and the ongoing impact of his life and death in the ongoing story of Christian peacemaking in a war-torn world,” according to publicity materials.

King, a longtime journalist and former managing editor of The Elkhart Truth, lives in Goshen, Indiana, where he is head storyteller for the Community Foundation of Elkhart County.

The MJ Sharp Peace and Justice Endowed Scholarship honors MJ’s memory, providing need-based aid to graduate students at EMU’s Center for Justice and Peacebuilding with priority given to students from the Democratic Republic of Congo. The scholarship’s total stands at nearly $265,000 – a sum which has enabled David Nyiringabo MA ’20 and Yolanda Emedi to study at CJP.  Give here.

Read and learn more 

Look for Peacebuilder podcast’s next episode Wednesday, Feb. 16, featuring King, and linking episodes of Mennomedia’s podcast “-ing” in the coming weeks.

The Jan. 21 issue of Anabaptist World includes an excerpt from the book, as well as a feature article about MJ titled “Martyr? Hero?” capturing some of the tensions around his work and death, and an article about his parents John and Michele Sharp and their search for justice.

The 2019 Dream Hike, a trek to the top of Kilimanjaro, helped to raise money for the scholarship. A book capturing images of the hike came out in June 2021. Visit the hike website.

Hear John Sharp, Michael’s father, speak about his son’s legacy at EMU’s TenTalks during the 2019 Homecoming and Family Weekend.

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