On Monday, January 17 we remember the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and commemorate what would have been his 93rd birthday.
The management and staff of Project Access NOW (PANOW) join hands with our colleagues from the community identifying as Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) to celebrate this great statesman for his devotion to non-violence, injustice, and intolerance in our collective society.
Dr. King’s words are as relevant today as they have ever been, and it is important for us all to take time to look at the legacy that Dr. King left us in his writings and public addresses to understand the causes he died for. While many will recall the most quoted speech at the Lincoln Memorial in 1963, history tells us we can also learn about the work he undertook towards the end of his life that focused on economic inequality.
On April 3, 1968, he told a mass meeting of sanitation strikers and their supporters, saying: “It is no longer a choice between violence and nonviolence in this world, it is nonviolence or nonexistence.” He goes on later to say “either we go up together or we go down together.” These words appear to have as much meaning today as they did in 1968.
The ills of racism, violence, and inequality that disproportionately affect the BIPOC community remind us in order to have constructive change, we need healthy dialogue. At PANOW, roughly 65% of our clients identify as Black, Indigenous, or people of color, most fall below the federal poverty level, and many identify as immigrants and/or undocumented. At PANOW, we continue to focus on how our priorities, outreach, and engagement to the BIPOC community contribute towards realizing the social and economic dream Dr. King Jr. valiantly championed.
Listed below are some ways in which you can take time to reflect, honor, and celebrate his life:
- Watch and discuss a documentary or movie about the life of Dr. MLK Jr. Here is a helpful list with many options.
- Join National Day of Racial Healing Virtual Event
- MLK Day On 2022
- The King Center
Dele Oyemaja, Director of Equity & Advocacy, and all of us at PANOW