Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was born in Atlanta, Georgia in 1929. He started college at the age of 15, skipping several grades in high school, and went on to complete seminary school. He became a public figure after helping to organize bus boycotts in the 1960s, which advocated for equal rights. Martin Luther King Jr. was not only an advocate for racial equality, but also socioeconomic equality and women’s rights. His efforts would later culminate to mark some of the most historic civil rights moments in history.
One of the most admirable qualities about Martin Luther King Jr. was his willingness to collaborate and form coalitions with others. This, coupled with his willingness to continuously learn, sparked a sense of passion and urgency in others to meet the challenges of the world.
King said: “Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time... to lift our nation from the quick sands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children. It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment.”
Responding to this urgency means acknowledging our country’s history of injustices, doing hard things, learning, and maintaining a willingness to listen to other’s perspectives. Now is the time that we help continue the efforts that MLK and so many others helped to bring into reality—together.
In that same spirit, our organization and our Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion wants to remind everyone of the power and importance of joining forces and creating spaces of coalition and collaboration. Now more than ever it is so important to build connections and unite with others.
In in order to bring Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream to fruition, we encourage you to make this day, month, and year one of reflection, connection, advocacy, and learning. Change and advocacy ultimately begins with each of us.