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  • The Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and more news......

    Why We Honor

    Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    Each year a fundamental question arises. Young people especially want to know, "Why do we honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.? The following is a brief analysis which can be duplicated and shared with schools, churches, organizations and the media.

    Early in our country's history, almost all black people came here as slaves. Because people in the South felt they needed cheap labor in building the land and because black people in Africa knew how to farm land like that in the South, they were taken from their homes and forced to come to America. Upon arriving in this country, they were sold to whites as slaves without rights or freedoms.

    In 1776, the American Colonies declared their freedom from Great Britain. In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson wrote that "all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." That is, Jefferson declared that all citizens have the rights to be free from oppression and have equal opportunities in pursuing their goals. These ideals have been called the American Dream.

    To best achieve these ideals, the people of the United States developed their government along democratic principles in which the people choose who will lead them and decide which laws should guide them. The Constitution is a document that tells how leaders are to be chosen and how laws are to be made. The laws can be changed, usually when a majority votes to do so.

    However, in the new government, slaves were not given the same rights as white people. They were not given the opportunity to choose their leaders, start businesses, own homes or go to school. Slaves were not allowed to lead their lives in the ways they wanted. Yet, there were many people, mostly people in the North, who wanted the slaves to be free, but there was not a majority of the people in the country who felt that way. Some states in the North had outlawed slavery, but most blacks in the South remained slaves. Free blacks in the North had more rights than slaves, but they still did not have as many rights as white people.

    Freeing the slaves was a large issue in the Civil War. After that war, the slaves were finally given their freedom through amendments to the Constitution. The Thirteenth Amendment outlawed slavery in the United States, the

    Fourteenth Amendment gave blacks citizenship and the Fifteenth Amendment gave them the right to vote. Blacks became free citizens of the United States, but many whites were not happy with this change. They felt that blacks should not be treated as citizens equal to whites. They passed laws to keep whites and blacks apart. In 1896, the Supreme Court decided that the "separate but equal" facilities legalized in the South did not violate the 14th Amendment. Thus, blacks could not work with whites, live in the same neighborhoods or send their children to the same schools as whites. Even so, black people throughout the nation contributed to the betterment of the country.

    Efforts to give black people their rights never stopped, but the changes were not enough. After World War II, many more people felt that new laws were needed. In 1954, the Supreme Court ruled that blacks and whites could go to the same schools, saying that "separate but equal" schools were inherently unequal. However, many people still did not want to change. It took a strong leader, a person who believed in peace and justice, to win more freedom for black Americans. Martin Luther King, Jr. was that man.

    Between 1955 and 1968, Martin Luther King, Jr. helped change America. He brought to the world's attention how unfairly blacks were treated. He had the help of millions of Americans, but his strong leadership and unprecedented power of speech gave people the faith and courage to keep working peacefully even when others did not. This led to new laws that ended the practice of keeping people of different backgrounds apart, making life fairer for everyone.

    America will always remember the work of Martin Luther King, Jr. Each year, on the third Monday in January, we celebrate his birthday. This is the first national holiday to honor an individual black American. The legacy of Dr. King lives in each of us and we are responsible to promote, teach and live the American Dream.

    DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.

    Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is considered the formative figure in the modern fight for civil rights, and his legacy looms large in the work of all those who follow him in his cause. Dr. King's involvement with the NAACP dates back to his position on the executive committee of the NAACP Montgomery Branch in the 1950's, through his leadership in the various boycotts, marches and rallies of the 1960's, and up until his assassination in 1968. In 1957 the NAACP awarded him the Spingarn Medal, its most prestigious honor. In 1964, he received a Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts. Dr. King pushed America to fulfill its promise of equal rights for all. We honor his life and his legacy by recommitting ourselves to keeping his dream alive.

    “One of the most decisive steps that the Negro can take is that little walk to the voting booth. That is an important step. We've got to gain the ballot, and through that gain, political power.”

    - NAACP Emancipation Day Rally, January 1, 1957

    Dr. King was born in Atlanta, Georgia in 1929. As a child he never failed to ask discerning questions about the world around him. Though his father was a reverend, King initially had many doubts about the Christian religion, and it was only after years of schooling that he became convinced that religion could be both “intellectually and emotionally satisfying.” King graduated at the top of his class from Morehouse College and moved on to Boston University where he earned his Ph.D. in systematic theology.

    In June 1953 King married Coretta Scott, a student at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. The following year King, now finished with his religious education, followed in his father's footsteps by becoming a pastor for the Drexel Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama.

    “We have no alternative but to protest. For many years we have shown an amazing patience... But we come here tonight to be saved from that patience that makes us patient with anything less than freedom and justice.”

    - Montgomery, Alabama, December 5, 1955

    When King arrived in Montgomery he saw a city that was highly segregated. One of the “Jim Crow” laws required the first four rows on public buses to be reserved for white people, while “colored” riders had to sit in the back of the bus. On December 1, 1955, barely a year after King's arrival, the secretary of the Montgomery chapter of the NAACP refused to move from her seat in the front of the bus. Rosa Parks was arrested and sent to jail, but her act of defiance inspired the burgeoning civil rights movement in Montgomery. The Montgomery Improvement Association was formed with the NAACP Executive Committee and officers of the Montgomery NAACP, which had at that point been banned in the state. The Association led a boycott of the bus system, and King, already a member of the NAACP's executive committee, was chosen as its leader.

    The boycott lasted for over a year, during which time King was threatened, arrested and even had his house bombed. However, by December 1956 the MIA had won a clear victory – the United States District Court ruled in Browder v. Gayle that racial segregation on buses was unconstitutional.

    “The end of violence or the aftermath of violence is bitterness. The aftermath of nonviolence is reconciliation and the creation of a beloved community. A boycott is never an end within itself. It is merely a means to awaken a sense of shame within the oppressor but the end is reconciliation, the end is redemption.”

    - The Power of Nonviolence, 1957

    Emboldened by his success in Montgomery and a rise to national prominence, in 1957 King joined other civil rights activists to found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. King was elected president. Inspired by the ideals of nonviolence espoused by Mahatma Gandhi, he promoted civil disobedience as the best method to fight for civil rights. The SCLC led sit-ins and marches for various local causes, all with the aim to end segregation and disenfranchisement of black voters. Though the protesters did their best to remain peaceful, they were occasionally met with violence from authorities, and King was arrested multiple times. Throughout this, King's profile continued to grow.

    “I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly."

    - Letter from Birmingham Jail, 1963

    King was arrested during a rally in Birmingham that sought to end segregation at lunch counters. While in jail he wrote “Letter from Birmingham Jail”, which defended his views on racial justice and nonviolence. It was considered the “manifesto” of the civil rights movement and further inspired black Americans to join the cause. At this point King was one of the national leaders of a movement that was rapidly growing across the nation, and in 1963 King joined with other leaders to capitalize on the moment with an enormous rally for civil rights.

    "In a sense we've come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men - yes, black men as well as white men - would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness... America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked 'insufficient funds.'"

    - “I Have a Dream”, August 28, 1963

    The historic March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom was a collaborative effort by the major civil rights groups and icons of the day, including A. Phillip Randolph, the renowned labor leader who originally conceived of such a march, and Roy Wilkins, Executive Secretary of the NAACP. Feeding off of a rapidly growing tide of grassroots support and outrage over the nation's racial inequities, the rally drew over 260,000 people from across the nation. King's celebrated speech, “I Have a Dream”, was carried live by television stations across the country. “I Have a Dream” is remembered as one of the greatest, if not the greatest, speech of the 20th century.

    “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal." I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood.”

    - “I Have a Dream”, August 28, 1963

    It didn't take long for King's dream to come to fruition. After a decade of continued lobbying of Congress and the President led by the NAACP, plus other peaceful protests for civil rights, President Lyndon Johnson signed into law the Civil Rights Act of 1964. One year later, he signed the National Voting Rights Act of 1965. Together, these laws outlawed discrimination against blacks and women, effectively ending segregation, and sought to end disenfranchisement by making discriminatory voting practices illegal. Ten years after King joined the civil rights fight, the campaign to secure the enactment of the 1964 Civil Rights Act had achieved its goal - to ensure that black citizens would have the power to represent themselves in government.

    "They told us we wouldn't get here. And there were those who said that we would get here only over their dead bodies. But all the world today knows that we are here and we are standing before the forces of power in the state of Alabama saying, 'We ain't goin' let nobody turn us around.'"

    - “Our God is Marching On!”, March 25, 1965

    Of course, the fight was not over. Over the next few years King continued to lead marches and rallies across the country. In 1965 King helped organize three marches to the Alabama state capitol to protest continued voting rights violations. The first march ended in violence, as police used tear gas and billy clubs against the peaceful protestors. Undeterred by “Bloody Sunday”, the activists marched twice more and finally reached the capitol in an emotional validation of their rights on March 25.

    “I've seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land. And I'm happy, tonight. I'm not worried about anything. I'm not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.”

    - “I've Been to the Mountaintop”, April 3, 1968

    During this period King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and the American Liberties Medallion by the American Jewish Committee. He broadened his focus and began to speak out against the Vietnam War and the economic injustice that plagued the nation. King was concerned that the United States government was spending money on a wasteful war while it should have been directed toward programs to help the nation's poorest citizens.

    In early April, 1968, King visited Memphis, Tennessee to support the local black sanitary public works union. On April 4, King was shot to death by James Earl Ray in his hotel in Memphis. President Johnson called a national day of mourning on April 7. In 1983 Congress cemented King's legacy as an American icon by declaring the third Monday of every January Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

    "If you give your life to a cause in which you believe, and if it is right and just, and if your life comes to an end as a result of this, then your life could not have been spent in a more redemptive way. I think that is what my husband has done."

    - Coretta Scott King, April 9, 1968

    Dr. King's legacy has inspired civil rights activists for the past forty years, and will continue to do so as long as there is injustice in the world. Organizations like the NAACP have carried on his work on behalf of all people of color, and have endeavored to keep his dream alive for future generations. We can always look to Dr. King's actions – and, especially, his words – to remind us of what we are fighting for and why we must continue to fight. If we ever get sidetracked or discouraged, we can remember Dr. King's closing remarks at the NAACP Emancipation Day Rally in 1957:

    “In closing, there is nothing greater in all the world than freedom. It may be worth going to jail for. It may be worth losing a job for. It may be worth living and fighting for. My friends, go out this evening determined to achieve this freedom which God wants for all of His children.”

    For Civil Rights and Social Justice

    Martin Luther King dreamt that all inhabitants of the United States would be judged by their personal qualities and not by the color of their skin. In April 1968 he was murdered by a white racist. Four years earlier, he had received the Peace Prize for his nonviolent campaign against racism.

    King adhered to Gandhi's philosophy of nonviolence. In 1955 he began his struggle to persuade the US Government to declare the policy of racial discrimination in the southern states unlawful. The racists responded with violence to the black people's nonviolent initiatives.

    In 1963, 250,000 demonstrators marched to the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, where King gave his famous "I have a dream" speech. The following year, President Johnson got a law passed prohibiting all racial discrimination.

    But King had powerful opponents. The head of the FBI, John Edgar Hoover, had him placed under surveillance as a communist, and when King opposed the administration's policy in Vietnam, he fell into disfavour with the President. It has still not been ascertained whether King's murderer acted on his own or was part of a conspiracy.

    Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Legacy continues to live on

    Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. linked the struggle for freedom and equality of the Afro-Americans to the struggles for the same goals of other people around the world......

    The legacy of Martin Luther King: Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere

    On 4 April 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King was shot dead in Memphis, Tennessee, where he planned to lead a protest march. The powerful voice of Dr. King was silenced, but almost fifty years later, his ideas are still a source of inspiration for people who seek peace and justice. Israel claims to have a special relation with the legacy of Dr. King.

    Every year it marks Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a United States holiday, with a special session in parliament. And the Consulate General of Israel in New York together with the Jewish Community Relations Council and the Jewish National Fund, pays a yearly tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King by honoring an individual who embodies his spirit and ideals. Dr. King’s legacy of his speeches and writings contain clear messages for everyone who wants to work towards justice and peace. How serious is the Israeli government about the legacy of Dr. King?

    King placed the struggle against injustice in a broad context

    President Jimmy Carter presents the Medal of Freedom to Corretta Scott King, posthumously to her slain husband Dr. Martin Luther King Jr..

    Martin Luther King inspired hundreds of thousands of people in the United States into actions against racism, to end poverty, and for peace. Early December 1955, he led the first great non-violent protests of Afro-Americans in a bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama. The boycott lasted 382 days and ended after the US Supreme Court ruled that segregation in public buses was unconstitutional. In spring 1963, King and the student movement organised mass demonstrations in Birmingham, Alabama. The white police officials responded violently and King was arrested for organizing sit-in demonstrations. In his ‘Letter from the Birmingham jail’, he puts the struggle against injustice in Birmingham in the broader context of the United States. He writes: “Moreover, I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states. I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

    In his speech ‘Let my people go’, which he held in New York on Human Rights Day in 1965, he repeats the message:

    “The struggle for freedom forms one long front crossing oceans and mountains. The brotherhood of man is not confined within a narrow, limited circle of select people. It is felt everywhere in the world, it is an international sentiment of surpassing strength and because this is true when men of good will finally unite they will be invincible.”

    Martin Luther King was conscious of the bond between the struggle of the black people in the United States and the wave of colonial revolutions in Asia, Africa and Latin America. In 1958, at the age 29, he said:

    The determination of Negro Americans to win freedom from all forms of oppression springs from the same deep longing that motivates oppressed peoples all over the world. The rumblings of discontent in Asia and Africa are expressions of a quest for freedom and human dignity by people who have long been the victims of colonialism and imperialism.

    In 1967 his last last major work, Where do we go from here: Chaos or Community, was published. He once again wrote about the link with South Africa.

    Racism is no mere American phenomenon. Its vicious grasp knows no geographical boundaries. In fact, racism and its perennial ally - economic exploitation - provide the key to understanding most of the international complications of this generation.

    The classic example of organised and institutionalised racism is the Union of South Africa. Its national policy and practice are the incarnation of the doctrine of white supremacy in the midst of a population which is overwhelmingly Black. But the tragedy of South Africa is virtually made possible by the economic policies of the United States and Great Britain, two countries which profess to be the moral bastions of our Western world.

    Call to isolate apartheid South Africa

    Martin Luther King actively supported the struggle of the South African people against apartheid. In 1963 the UN Special Committee against Apartheid was established and one of the first letters the committee received was from Martin Luther King, according to Nigerian ambassador Leslie O. Harriman. Together with the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1960, the ANC leader Chief Albert J. Lutuli, Martin Luther King made an ‘Appeal for Action against Apartheid’ on Human Rights Day, 10 December 1962.

    They said:

    “Nothing which we have suffered at the hands of the government has turned us from our chosen path of disciplined resistance, said Chief Albert J. Lutuli at Oslo. So there exists another alternative - and the only solution which represents sanity - transition to a society based upon equality for all without regard to colour. Any solution founded on justice is unattainable until the Government of South Africa is forced by pressures, both internal and external, to come to terms with the demands of the non-white majority. The apartheid republic is a reality today only because the peoples and governments of the world have been unwilling to place her in quarantine.”

    In his speech held in London in 1964, Martin Luther King repeated his call for economic sanctions against South Africa.

    “We can join in the one form of non-violent action that could bring freedom and justice to South Africa - the action which African leaders have appealed for - in a massive movement for economic sanctions… If the United Kingdom and the United States decided tomorrow morning not to buy South African goods, not to buy South African gold, to put an embargo on oil; if our investors and capitalists would withdraw their support for that racial tyranny, then apartheid would be brought to an end. Then the majority of South Africans of all races could at last build the shared society they desire.”

    Israel and apartheid South Africa analogy

    The analogy between apartheid South Africa and Israel has been argued by an impressive group of people, among them Desmond Tutu, South African Archbishop and Nobel Peace Prize winner. Former ANC military commander Ronnie Kasrils, who is the present South African Minister for Intelligence Services8. John Dugard, South African professor of international law, serving as the Special Rapporteur for the United Nations on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories described the situation in the West Bank as “an apartheid regime … worse than the one that existed in South Africa.”

    Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivers his most famous speech “I have a dream,” August 28, 1963.

    South African writer Breyten Breytenbach wrote after a visit to the occupied Palestinian territories that ‘they can reasonably be described as resembling Bantustans, reminiscent of the ghettoes and controlled camps of misery one knew in South Africa.’ Farid Esack, Professor at Harvard Divinity School, told me some years ago that in his view “living under apartheid in South Africa was a picknick compared to the situation in occupied Palestinian territories.” It is not necessary to spend much time on the debate whether apartheid South Africa and Israel can be compared. The bottom line is that Israel systematically violates international law and the rights of the Palestinian people. The way Palestinians are treated by Israel can therefore be characterized as injustice. And as Martin Luther King said ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere’.

    Non-violent action against Israel

    Martin Luther King linked the struggle for freedom and equality of the Afro-Americans to the struggles for the same goals of other people around the world. He called for non-violent action against injustice at home and abroad. Martin Luther King and Chief Albert Lutuli called for public action against apartheid South Africa. The call offers a practical tool for non-violent actions against Israel. Where King and Lutuli said South Africa, we can write Israel. The call then reads as: urge your Government to support economic sanctions; write to your mission to the United Nations urging adoption of a resolution calling for international isolation of Israel; don’t buy Israeli products; don’t trade or invest in Israel * translate public opinion into public action by explaining facts to all peoples, to groups to which you belong, and to countries of which you are citizens until an effective international quarantine of apartheid is established.

    Is Israel willing to listen?

    Israel claims to feel a special relation with the legacy of Martin Luther King. However, is Israel willing to embrace the legacy in all its aspects? Martin Luther King worked with the civil rights movement towards political and social equality for people of all races. In his public speech ‘I Have a Dream’11 he spoke of his desire for a future where blacks and whites would live together harmoniously as equals. This vision seems to express the hope of Israel that peace with the Palestinian people is possible. In his Letter from Birmingham jail Martin Luther King writes:

    “Human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability; it comes through the tireless efforts of men willing to be co-workers with God, and without this ‘hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation. We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right. Now is the time to make real the promise of democracy and transform our pending national elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood. Now is the time to lift our national policy from the quicksand of racial injustice to a solid rock of human dignity.”

    Israel, it is not sufficient to dream of peace. To achieve peace requires hard work. The injustice done to the Palestinian people should end immediately. And if you are not prepared to do so? Martin Luther King made it very clear that we - peace loving people - should act against injustice. We should establish ‘an effective quarantine’ of Israel, just like we did with apartheid South Africa.

    Phoenix Celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King's Legacy

    Festivals and Events Celebrating Diversity - 2015

    Each year on the third Monday of January citizens of our country take time to recognize and celebrate the birth, the life and the ideals of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Here are some of the events being held in the greater Phoenix area where you can take time out to acknowledge the value of diversity, the progress we've made toward freedom and equality for all people, and continued efforts to strengthen our communities.

    Avondale

    Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: A Review of Phase I and Phase II of His Life

    Avondale Civic Center Library

    Ahmad Daniels, an educational trainer in the areas of diversity, race relations and African-American history, will present a unique review of Dr. Kings life. Free admission.

    In 2015: Saturday, January 24 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

    Chandler

    The Road to Freedom

    A panel discussion featuring Freedom Riders Carol RuthSilver and Claude Liggins. The Road to Freedom is among several events held each January in Chandler to honor the community's heritage and diversity, along with the spirit, ideals, life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and the civil rights movement.

    Chandler Multicultural Festival

    Chandler Public Library Courtyard, 125 E. Commonwealth Ave. in Downtown Chandler

    Celebrates the cultural diversity of the community through music, dance, art, storytelling, and arts/crafts. Free admission.

    In 2015: Saturday, January 17 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

    HomeBase Poetry

    Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino, Chandler

    Celebrate MLK Day with Phoenix’s preeminent spoken word and musical performers. HomeBase Poetry has built a reputation for positive upbeat entertainment with a strict no negativity policy and an energetic vibe. Ticketed event.

    In 2015: various shows, January 17 – 19

    Gilbert

    Dream Days – A Celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.

    Various locations

    Concert (Jan. 14), speaker (Jan. 13), art competition (Jan. 12 – 30), photo exhibit (Jan. 10-Mar. 7). All are free admission.

    In 2015: various dates as mentioned above.

    Mesa

    MLK Jr. Community Gala

    Mesa Arts Center

    The entertainment includes Ms. Adora Lewis, Desert Dance Troupe, Ms. Ya Yu Khoe, Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church Choir and Grammy Nominated Artist, Jonathan Butler. 5 p.m. reception, 6 p.m. gala. Ticketed event, formal attire.

    In 2015: Saturday, January 17

    MLK Parade

    Downtown Mesa

    Theme: "Many Faces, One Community." Martin Luther King Jr. Way and Center Street in Mesa. Free.

    In 2015: Monday, January 19 at 11 a.m.

    Community Festival

    Mesa Arts Center

    The Mesa MLK Festival begins immediately after the parade. Community celebration including music, dance. Free admission.

    In 2015: Monday, January 19

    MLK Basketball Classic

    Wells Fargo Arena, ASU Tempe Campus

    High school boys and girls teams compete.

    In 2015: Monday, January 19

    Peoria

    Evening With a King Tribute Dinner

    Peoria Community Center, 8335 W. Jefferson St., Peoria

    In 2015: Thursday, January 15

    Phoenix

    Martin Luther King Jr. Torch Run

    The Martin Luther King Jr. Annual Awards Breakfast is preceded by a “Flame of Hope” Torch Run through downtown Phoenix. Starts at 6 a.m. from Phoenix City Hall.

    In 2015: Friday, January 16

    Martin Luther King, Jr. “Living the Dream” Awards Breakfast

    The event recognizes citizens with the Calvin C. Goode Lifetime Achievement award and the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Living the Dream Award who have made Phoenix a better place to live through a lifelong commitment to creating a compassionate and socially just society. Proceeds will benefit Arizona Opportunities Industrialization Center (OIC) and scholarships to deserving students in the Phoenix community. Hyatt Regency Phoenix, 122 N. 2nd St., Phoenix. Ticketed event.

    In 2015: Friday, January 16 at 7 a.m.

    Dr. Martin Luther King MLK March and Festival

    Assemble at 8:30 a.m. at Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church, 1401 East Jefferson Street for the 9 a.m. march. Festival at 10 a.m. at Margaret T. Hance Deck Park. Free.

    In 2015: Monday, January 19

    MLK Youth Rally

    Workshops and performances.

    In 2015: Saturday, January 31 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

    Scottsdale

    Scottsdale Community Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dinner Celebration

    Chaparral Suites, Scottsdale

    Coach Marv Levy headlines. Levy is the winningest coach in Buffalo Bills history and a Hall of Fame football coach. Ticketed event.

    In 2015: Wednesday, January 14

    Tempe

    MLK Diversity Awards Dinner

    Tempe Mission Palms Hotel, Tempe

    Keynote Speaker will be Jevin Hodge, America's Leading Young Agent for Change. Reception at 6 p.m., dinner at 6:30 p.m. Ticketed event, no tickets at the door.

    In 2015: Saturday, January 17

    Regional Unity Walk

    Tempe Beach Park.

    Walking for unity in our communities to promote mutual respect and understanding. Families, community organizations, scout groups, schools, and faith groups are encouraged to participate. Walkers are encouraged to carry signs and banners representing their groups. Diversity Festival follows walk. No registration required. Free.

    In 2015: January 31

    Arizona National Parks

    Free Admission to National Parks

    All 397 national parks in the U.S. will offer free admission to commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Here is a map and list of Arizona's National Parks.

    In 2015: Monday, January 19

    And More

    Weekend of Service Projects

    Various Phoenix area locations

    To honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. HandsOn Greater Phoenix lists various community service projects for MLK Day. Each project has details, including minimum age for participation.

    In 2015: Saturday, January 17 through Saturday, January 24

    All dates, times, prices and offerings are subject to change without notice.

    Events around Delco celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King

    Delaware County will honor the life and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King this weekend. Here is a small sampling of some of the events being held around the county:

    Chester Club of the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Clubs Inc.: Hosts the 25th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Annual Breakfast 9 a.m. Monday at the Clarion Hotel, 76 Industrial Highway, Essington. Guest speaker will be Dr. Nobel Thompson Jr., author of “Never Give Up.” For tickets, which cost $20, call Deloris Riley at 610-874-6804.

    Church of the Overcomer: 1010 Sunset St., Trainer, hosts Requiem for a King at 10 a.m. Monday. The program includes rare video presentations of Dr. King’s critique of militarism, materialism and racism, a focus group question and answer sessions, and a presentation of the Drum Major for Justice Award, and a call to action with closing prayers, benediction and refreshments. To RSVP, contact 610-485-6090 or churchoftheovercomer@gmail.com. For information, visit www.churchoftheovercomer.com.

    Community Action Agency of Delaware County: Basketball players across the county will drive to the hoop Monday to raise funds and food donations for the CAADC, the county’s anti-poverty agency that helps families and individuals to move toward self-sufficiency. Five basketball clinics will be held 9 a.m.-noon at Cabrini College in Radnor, Haverford College in Haverford, Neumann University in Aston, Widener University in Chester and Springfield High School (Springfield is 10 a.m.-noon). The clinics, open to boys and girls in grades one through eight, will cover all aspects of fundamental play. Each player will get a complimentary T-shirt. Cost for the clinic ranges from $20$30, depending on which school is hosting the clinic. For information about the 14th Annual “Hoops From the Heart” event, call Debbie Brodeur at CAADC at 484-802-7708.

    Congregation Ohev Shalom: 2 Chester Road, Wallingford, welcomes the Chester Children’s Chorus as part of its Martin Luther King Social Action Day activities, 1 p.m. Monday. The chorus includes boys and girls 8-18 from the Chester Upland school district. Donations will be accepted to support the chorus program. In addition, donations of diapers, wipes and ointment will be collected for donation to local shelters. For more information, contact 610-874-1465 or exec@ohev.net.

    First African Baptist Church: 901 Clifton Ave., Sharon Hill, holds “A Day On-Not a Day Off” day of service at the church, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Monday.

    Media Fellowship House: Invites the entire community to the 26th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration 3:45 p.m. today at First United Methodist Church of Media, 350 W. State St., Media. The event will include performances from Congregation Beth Israel of Media’s Klezmer Band, BIMAS; Honeycomb Union AME Church Choir as well as Latisha Mays of Second Baptist Church of Media. In addition to the musical performances, there will be other participants at the service including Pastor Laurie Anne Rookard of First United Methodist Church of Media, the Rev. Debra A Reynolds, Esq., of Campbell AME in Media as well as Media Mayor Bob McMahon. This year’s featured speaker will be Dr. Allison Dorsey, a professor of History at Swarthmore College and author of “To Build Our Lives Together: Community Formation in Black Atlanta, 1875-1906,” “The great cry of our people is land! Black Settlement and Community Development on Ossabaw Island, Georgia 1865-1900, “Black History is American History: Teaching African American History in the 21st Century” and “‘white girls’ and ‘STRONG BLACK WOMEN:’ Reflections on a Decade of Teaching at PWIs.” For more information, call 610-565-0434.

    MLK Commemorative Committee of Chester and Vicinity: Has coordinated service activities around the city. Openings for volunteers are still available. To register, report to STEM Academy at Showalter, 1100 W. 10th St., at 8 a.m. Monday.

    Upper Darby School District: Students, parents and community will participate in a Day of Service Monday in celebration of the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Volunteers will rally 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. at Upper Darby High School, 600 Lansdowne Ave., to clean and paint and beautify the school building. The annual Unity Day breakfast will be 8-9:30 a.m. Monday at Drexelbrook, 4700 Drexelbrook Drive. The featured speaker is School District Superintendent Richard Dunlap. To purchase tickets, contact Cathy Brazunas at cbrazunas@upperdarbysd.org. Following breakfast, Drexel Hill Middle School students and volunteers will meet at the school, 3001 State Road, to prepare toiletry filled “dream boxes” to be delivered to the Upper Darby Food Bank.

    Villanova University: 800 E. Lancaster Ave., Villanova, celebrates the legacy of Dr. King with a series of programs and service opportunities, beginning Monday, Jan. 19, honoring the life and work of the great civil rights leader. This year’s MLK Celebration marks the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s historic visit to Villanova, where he spoke in front of a capacity crowd at the University’s Field House on Jan. 20, 1965.

    Widener University: 1 University Place, Chester, holds the annual Commemorative Service, sponsored by the Black Student Union, celebrating the significance of Dr. King’s life and honoring the memory of Nelson Mandela, 6:30 p.m. Monday in Alumni Auditorium.

    THE LEGACY OF DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.

    Martin Luther King, Jr. came to Boston University in 1951, searching for a multicultural community and a setting for his study of ethics and philosophy. He became “Dr. King” by earning a Ph.D. in systematic theology here in 1955.

    During these years, Howard Thurman was named dean of the University’s Marsh Chapel. King not only attended sermons there but also turned to Thurman as his mentor and spiritual advisor. Among the lessons that inspired him most were Thurman’s accounts of a visit to Mohandas Gandhi in India years earlier. It was Thurman who educated King in the mahatma’s ideas of nonviolent protest. As the bridge between Gandhi and King, BU’s progressive dean helped sow the seeds of change in the U.S. and beyond.

    Boston University preserves the legacy of our greatest alumnus in several ways. Our library houses thousands of King’s personal papers and correspondence. On Marsh Plaza in front of the chapel, you can see an inspiring sculptural tribute to his famous words, Free At Last. And everywhere on our campus, you can hear what we still consider to be the strongest statement of King’s life’s work: the enormous variety of voices and viewpoints that ring out on our campus.

    Enjoy reading this story by Leigh Anne Tuohy................I (Martha Wooden) had to share this with you

    Reflecting on MLK Day: Learn to Love Those All Around You, Without Prejudice

    “Now, I say to you today my friend, even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this Nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

    This quote, I’m sure, is familiar to all of you. If not, then I hope you will find some meaning in this piece. It was spoken graciously and passionately by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on August 28, 1963, in Washington, DC. This week, we celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. King. Several months ago, Sean and I received an award, the Dr. Martin Luther King Junior Service Award, which deeply humbled us. We have received numerous awards in the last few years, yet this one stood apart from the others. It was presented by The Rainbow Push Coalition. We were awed to be the recipients of a recognition that we knew was not given to us without great consideration. Sean and I joked, “Do you think they know we are white?” This Freedom Award represented all that Dr. King embodied to us. It allowed us to believe that maybe, just maybe, that we are making progress. It was not just another piece of hardware that we would line up on the shelf in the study. It seemed to represent a hopeful future.

    During an interview not so long ago, Michael was asked what he thought about being adopted by a white family, and I’ll never forget his response. He looked right at the lady and said, “What does that matter?” Sean gave a beautiful acceptance speech when we received the award from the Coalition. In his closing remarks, with tears in his eyes, he said he was very young when Dr. King was taken from this Earth, but he’d like to believe that when he heard that Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy got an award from an African American organization that he would have responded exactly like Michael and said, “Does it really matter the color of their skin?”

    In our house the answer is absolutely not. However, that is not the case in many. You can not imagine the comments that have been made to us as a family over the years about having an African American son. You really can not. The two boys probably have heard things that they would’nt even repeat to me. And even after 50 million people have seen The Blind Side, the comments have not lessened. They’re just done with a little more fear of me! Michael hears them on the field; and I receive tweets, Facebook posts and letters. We actually have had people call us and say just the rudest things.

    Our motives have been questioned. Our integrity and character put to the test. Does it bother us? Ninety-nine percent of the time-no. However, once in a blue moon, I just want to stamp the word STUPID on someone’s forehead. To a few people I want to say, “shame on you!” I guess there truly are some people who think, or thought, just because Michael was black that we never should have offered him help – and certainly not love and a home. Just keep driving and don’t turn around. Really?? Is that how we are making progress? We feel you should never write anyone off. It doesn’t matter the color of people’s skin or what country they were born in or anything else you want to add to this list. There is a lot of self-induced ignorance in this country. There are those who just don’t get the fact that every individual should be treated with dignity and respect.

    Maya Angelou said it so beautifully, “We must be warriors in the struggle against ignorance.” Are you being a warrior? Are you fighting on the frontlines? Do you welcome people with open arms at your church if they’re different than you? Do you ask the new guy to lunch at the office if he’s not the same skin color as you? Look, bigotry doesn’t come in just one color. It comes in many colors, shapes, forms and fashions.

    So, what’s the take away? It’s that all people have inherent value and potential, and that value doesn’t depend on their social status or family background or physical appearance. THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR BEING PREJUDICE, NONE. Learn to love those you thought you couldn’t love-who are different than you!

    Making the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial

    Architect Ed Jackson Jr. leads construction

    Ed Jackson Jr. spends most of his waking hours toiling inside a construction trailer on a dusty lot in Southwest Washington, D.C. His job description might read as follows: "Capture architectural lightning in a bottle, in a way that memorializes an iconic U.S. figure and effortlessly conveys his peace-loving, egalitarian ethos to millions of people."

    A tall order, to be sure, but not one that intimidates Jackson, 61, who is the executive architect for the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial. Fifteen years in the making, the four-acre, $120 million project abuts the Tidal Basin and is on a direct line between the Jefferson and Lincoln memorials. It is slated to be officially dedicated on Aug. 28.

    "We felt it was important for us to have a memorial that reminded every generation what our goals and objectives are, and what we should be trying to achieve as a nation, as a society, as human beings on this planet," says Jackson, who received a doctor of architecture degree from the University of Michigan in 1993.

    Jackson believes all of the above will be found in the finished King memorial. It's to be a tour de force of complementary design elements, including a 600-foot long, crescent-shaped granite inscription wall containing 14 notable quotes and statements made by the civil rights leader from 1955 to 1968. There's also a 30-foot tall statue of King.

    The project represents a dramatic career shift for Jackson, who spent most of his architectural life as an Army officer designing military health care facilities. But lest anyone think that the King memorial is a capstone for Jackson, it's much more than that — it's a labor of love.

    From idea to reality

    A member of Alpha Phi Alpha, the African American college fraternity to which King belonged, Jackson was out of the Army by 1996 and had a civilian architecture job in the Washington area. That year, during a conversation with six frat brothers in Silver Spring, Md., Jackson was posed with a challenge: Could he design a memorial for King?

    "They had envisioned a project that was probably for $2 million and could be done in two years," Jackson recalls. He said nothing initially, but in Jackson's view "the project had to be significantly larger … to make the kind of statement that would be equivalent to the contribution that [King] had made, not only to America but to a world stage."

    Jackson, who hails from McComb, Miss., wasn't intimidated by the undertaking, because he knew his fellow Alphas had his back. In addition, in the years since he'd earned his bachelor of architecture degree from the University of Illinois in 1973, Jackson had encountered several top-notch architects he was sure would gladly serve as touchstones.

    Determined to make their King memorial vision a reality, the Alphas worked to get memorial resolutions passed in both houses of Congress, and the authorization to build a memorial was signed by President Clinton in 1998. A ceremonial groundbreaking took place in November 2006.

    Fundraising challenge

    Of the $120 million needed for the memorial, $108 million had been raised by Nov. 10, 2010, says Harry E. Johnson Sr., president and CEO of the Martin Luther King National Memorial Project Foundation.

    General Motors' $10 million gift made it the largest contributor, and the Tommy Hilfiger Corporate Foundation chipped in $5 million. Sheila C. Johnson, vice chairman and president of the Washington Mystics WNBA team, contributed $1 million, as did film director George Lucas and AARP.

    Jackson oversaw an international competition to design the King memorial that resulted in more than 900 submissions. But to his horror, when the winning entry was displayed to King's widow, Coretta Scott King, inside a Washington hotel in 2000, she began to shake her head.

    "I could tell immediately she was saying, 'No, no, this is not what I want!' " Jackson recalls. " 'This is not what I anticipated!' "

    Jackson explained to her why he found the winning design solution compelling. "When a layperson looks at a two-dimensional drawing, they cannot perceive or comprehend the design as depicted, because they see only a two-dimensional representation," Jackson says. "What I had to do was describe it in such a way that it came alive for her, as it did for me.

    "As I was proceeding with my story, her head went from moving to east and west, to north and south."

    He took things a step further. "I turned to her and I said, 'I will not let you down,' " Jackson remembers of his conversation with King's spouse, who died in 2006.

    A father of four and grandfather of two, Jackson feels confident the public will find the King memorial aesthetically pleasing and inspirational when it opens this summer.

    "I think that Mrs. King would be extremely proud of what we've been able to accomplish," Jackson says, "and I can say to her, if she were living today: 'Mrs. King, I did not let you down.' "

    Walking in the Footsteps of a Giant

    Martin Luther King III carries on his father's legacy

    Shortly after the 48th anniversary of the March on Washington, Martin Luther King III traveled to the nation's capital for the dedication of a new memorial honoring his father's life and legacy. When it was officially unveiled on Oct. 16, 2011, the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial became the first on the National Mall to pay tribute to an African American, and the only memorial not devoted to a president or a war. The four-acre plot it sits on along the Tidal Basin is close to where King delivered his soaring "I Have a Dream" speech.

    Today, Martin Luther King III believes that the $120 million memorial will inspire visitors from across the globe. King, who was 10 when his father was assassinated in 1968, has dedicated his life to his dad's causes. Now 53, he is the president and chief executive officer of the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change in Atlanta. Here, he talks about the memorial, shares a few childhood memories and chats about some upcoming projects.

    Q: Your father has been honored numerous times, including the Nobel Peace Prize, Time's Man of the Year and a federal holiday to mark his birthday. How does a national memorial rate among the other tributes?

    A: It's a very special honor. When the King holiday was enacted [in 1983], I thought, well, this is about the highest honor a citizen can achieve. But a major memorial of this scale on the National Mall brings his legacy to another level. The nation's capital hosts thousands of visitors from all over the world, and this will be one of the major attractions. In a sense this memorial will globalize my father's legacy.

    Q: Do you think the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial captures the enormity of his contributions to our nation?

    A: In a symbolic sense, yes, since it is a major memorial. Viewing a statue can be inspiring and uplifting, but it can't really capture the details of his story and the philosophy that empowered his leadership. The King Center in Atlanta specializes in educating people about my father's life, work and teachings, and we have resources and programs available for that purpose.

    Q: What are you currently focusing on at the King Center?

    A: One of our most significant projects is the digitization of the King Library and Archives holdings, to make this unique resource available to people all over the world via the Internet. Anyone, anywhere in the world will be able to study my father's philosophy and methods of nonviolence in great detail so they can apply his teaching in their nonviolent struggles for justice and human rights.

    Q: Are we any closer to achieving his dream?

    A: Yes, we are closer in some respects. There is more racial integration in American life and many more people of color serving as elected officials and corporate leaders than there were during my father's time. But there is also reason for concern about new forms of racial oppression, such as measures to make it harder to vote, racial profiling and crushing public worker unions.

    MLK Day—What Is the Legacy?

    A struggle over who could most believably wrap him- or herself in the mantle of Martin Luther King, Jr. has been underway for some time, but the advent of the Occupy movement has brought the holiday into sharp relief. Across the Internet a week before the day there were messages, notices, and YouTube videos about “Reclaim MLK Day” actions scheduled for January 16. Here is a small sampling:

    The January 13th “Occupations Report” issued by InterOccupy.org called for readers to host “MLK Movement Meet-ups” for activists to participate in “reflecting, and committing to rebuilding the American Dream and Dr. King’s dream in 2012.” The brief notice of the meet-up call combines two metaphors: that Martin Luther King, Jr. Day “[t]oo often . . . gets watered down into a feel-good Hallmark Card” and that “his dream is being gunned down before our eyes.”

    A Reclaim MLK Day page on Facebook called for Occupy movement activists to gather at the African Burial Ground site in lower Manhattan to “embark on a journey to liberation, together,” citing Dr. King’s call for “an end to class stratification” and King’s notion of a Resurrection City (as expressed in his Poor People’s Campaign) “to be planted in D.C., much like the Occupy encampments across the country. . . .”.

    The Rebuild the Dream website’s blog mentioned MLK Day Movement Meet-ups aimed at “celebrat[ing] Dr. King and link[ing] the Civil Rights Movement with today’s struggle for an economy that works for all.”. Rebuild the Dream identifies Van Jones, former clean energy advisor to President Obama and previously director of the Ella Baker Center in San Francisco as one of its presidents and co-founders.

    The “Occupy the Dream” coalition planned a day of action aimed at “occupying” Federal Reserve Bank branches in 15 cities on January 16, based on a plan of uniting the “African-American faith community” with Occupy Wall Street “to launch a new campaign for economic justice inspired by the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.” Occupy the Dream appears to have been founded by Dr. Ben Chavis, a former executive director of the NAACP (and now president and CEO of the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network), and Rev. Dr. Jamal Bryant of Baltimore’s Empowerment Temple Church.

    These calls for direct, political action aimed at inequitable economic policies are very unlike the “MLK Day of Service” campaign, part of the White House’s “United We Serve” initiative, being promoted by the Corporation for National and Community Service. The Corporation’s Day of Service video features such longtime civil rights leaders as Congressman John Lewis, Ruby Bridges, and Rev. Joseph E. Lowery who worked and marched with Dr. King. Searching for service events projects in Washington, DC registered with the official MLK Day website revealed the following:

    Painting the AmeriCorps room and a large MLK mural at the Perry School;

    We Feed Our People (WFOP) providing meals for the homeless;

    Painting and light construction at Dunbar High School, the Boys and Girls Club, and Community Academy Public Charter school, sponsored by Washington, DC’s City Year;

    The Theta Omega Omega chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority holding a Sunday dinner at a VA hospital and inviting residents of the John McDermott House (transitional living facility for veterans discharged from the VA hospital) and residents of Fisher House (which provides temporary housing for military families while their relatives are being treated at the VA) to participate;

    Beautification of Tyler Elementary School via school slogans, murals, and math equations;

    Revamping the parent room at Community Academic Public Schools, hanging a portrait of Dorothy Height at the school entrance, and leading children through a reflection activity;

    Painting and hanging murals at the Davis elementary school;

    An MLK activity fair for children at the Burrville Elementary School, feeding the kids lunch, preparing an aquarium, and cleaning various school areas.

    There are of course at least two more claimants to the King mantle. Just don’t even bother with the corporate advertisers that have run facile newspaper ads extolling their corporate connection to the values of Dr. King. More significant is the connection of the civil rights community, frequently expressed in the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day breakfasts and marches sponsored by local NAACP chapters around the nation. Even within the news reports of the NAACP programs, the debate between service and action is evident. For example, the theme of this year’s MLK Day breakfast of the NAACP in Cleveland, Tennessee is “Day of Service”, and in Springfield, Illinois, the NAACP MLK Day march will end at a Baptist Church, with a program titled “What Would Dr. King Say about Bullying Today?”.

    Contrast those traditional NAACP events with the schedule of national NAACP director Ben Todd Jealous surrounding the holiday, including his scheduled participation with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder at an MLK Day event in South Carolina, where the theme is “preserving full citizenship rights for all Americans” (which the NAACP is using to oppose the state’s pending Voter ID law and culminating with his joining other activists in lobbying the Maryland legislature to abolish the death penalty.

    The MLK Day service activities promoted by the Corporation for National and Community Service and the White House reflect a very different vision of honoring the legacy of Dr. King compared to the political activism of the various Occupy initiatives and some of the NAACP programs. Which set of events captures the spirit and legacy of Dr. King better?

    King actually did take aim at problems of economic distress and inequities in our society. His concept of civil rights broadened over time from issues of race to concerns about the economic, political, and foreign policy priorities of this country that exacerbated the conditions of poverty, and prompted him to lead the Poor People’s Campaign and, tragically, to join protests in Memphis in support of striking sanitation workers.

    The Rebuild the Dream blogger asks the question at the heart of today’s struggle for Dr. King’s legacy, “What would Dr. King and other civil rights leaders do today?” It is a question that makes all individual answers seem presumptuous or silly. Who are any of us to answer that question about Dr. King, who, if it hadn’t been for James Earl Ray, might still have been a national leader today, on his 83rd birthday?

    All Americans might delve into Dr. King’s writings and speeches to answer a different question: What does your memory, your impression, your understanding of Dr. King’s life motivate you to do?

    For us, it leans away from the Hallmark card events and more toward the memory of King’s lifelong commitment to fight against societal inequities. Paint-up projects don’t quite do it for us. Some powerful statements from Dr. King make us think of political activism. For example, King once said, “Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane." While there are many remarkable examples of volunteerism and service in the form of free health clinics, such as recent free clinic events in Los Angeles, Schenectady, and even in the shadow of the White House in Washington, the volunteer doctors and nurses at the free clinics would laugh at the notion that their service could take the place of national health insurance reform or, perhaps more accurately, public health care.

    That is just one example. King was just as powerful and pointed about other issues, for example, joblessness. In his remarkable “Where Do We Go from Here” speech in 1967, he said, “We must develop a federal program of public works, retraining, and jobs for all—so that none, white or black, will have cause to feel threatened. . . . There is nothing except shortsightedness to prevent us from guaranteeing an annual minimum and livable income for every American family." That is a far cry from the argument of some leaders of the service movement that volunteerism itself is good for the economy. "True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it is not haphazard and superficial,” King said. “It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring." The service movement is far more serious about volunteerism than flinging coins, but it falls short of building a new edifice of social justice.

    The opening paragraph of the MLK Day editorial in the Grand Rapids Press laid out the meaning of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life to many of us: “Significant social, economic and political change doesn’t happen by accident. That takes a movement and a leader of tremendous courage and faith. The civil rights movement had that in the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., and it changed laws, lives and this country for the better.” To us, the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is one of activism for social change. Perhaps he might not be occupying the Federal Reserve on Monday or Congress on Tuesday if he were with us today, but then again, he just might have come up with an even more powerful agenda. As he might have reminded us today, “Almost always, the creative dedicated minority has made the world better.”

    Dr. King Today

    Dr. King’s Importance to the 21st Century

    Today, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is known the world over as perhaps the greatest champion of freedom, justice, equality and peace ever known. He is revered from small villages to great halls of power, and his name is invoked by countless social causes and movements. Schoolhouses and community centers from Boston to Bosnia bear his name, and in the United States, he is the only non-president with a national holiday dedicated in his honor.

    And yet, in many ways the true power of his legacy remains untapped. Children across the country celebrate his life with a day off from school each year, but too many don’t understand the reasons why. Americans respect his achievements in ending segregation, but for many his teachings end at “I Have a Dream.” And across the globe, men and women of all ages know his name as a past benefactor of mankind, but not necessarily as a source of relevance to their current lives.

    Through our efforts over the years, the King Center has witnessed firsthand the unrivaled power – and untapped potential – of Dr. and Mrs. King’s legacy. Their teachings have helped bridge divided communities in the U.S., and offer a chance for dialogue amongst bitter rivals abroad. We have seen it bring hope and promise to young people in Africa, and dreams of peace to presidents grappling with war. Although many things have changed since the Civil Rights Movement, the remedies proposed by Dr. King – nonviolence, service and hope – remain as relevant as ever.

    As we enter the second decade of the new century, the King Center is dedicated to bring those teachings to a new generation to empower them to address the critical issues of our times, including poverty, injustice and war, the “triple evils” Dr. King identified and addressed during his life.

    To be housed within this ‘MLK Today’ section, these documents will draw the connections between what Dr. King wrote, said and did during his own time, and how it relates to ours. We believe that by doing so, we can inspire a new generation to act and help ensure that Dr. King’s values live on in the modern era, and for all time.

    Martin Luther King Jr. quotes

    “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

    ― Martin Luther King Jr.,

    “Faith is taking the first step even when you can't see the whole staircase.”

    ― Martin Luther King Jr.

    “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

    ― Martin Luther King Jr.,

    “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

    ― Martin Luther King Jr.

    “If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”

    ― Martin Luther King Jr.

    “I have decided to stick to love...Hate is too great a burden to bear.”

    ― Martin Luther King Jr.

    “Let no man pull you so low as to hate him.”

    ― Martin Luther King Jr., A Knock at Midnight: Inspiration from the Great Sermons of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.

    “There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right.”

    ― Martin Luther King Jr.

    “Only in the darkness can you see the stars.”

    ― Martin Luther King Jr.

    “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

    ― Martin Luther King Jr.

    “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”

    ― Martin Luther King Jr.

    “Intelligence plus character-that is the goal of true education.”

    ― Martin Luther King Jr.

    “Everybody can be great...because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”

    ― Martin Luther King Jr.

    “A man who won't die for something is not fit to live.”

    ― Martin Luther King Jr.

    “No one really knows why they are alive until they know what they'd die for.”

    ― Martin Luther King Jr.

    “Those who are not looking for happiness are the most likely to find it, because those who are searching forget that the surest way to be happy is to seek happiness for others.”

    ― Martin Luther King Jr.

    “Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude.”

    ― Martin Luther King Jr.

    “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

    ― Martin Luther King Jr.

    “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”

    ― Martin Luther King Jr.

    “If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michaelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, 'Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.”

    ― Martin Luther King Jr.

    “There comes a time when silence is betrayal.”

    ― Martin Luther King Jr.

    “Now there is a final reason I think that Jesus says, "Love your enemies." It is this: that love has within it a redemptive power. And there is a power there that eventually transforms individuals. Just keep being friendly to that person. Just keep loving them, and they can’t stand it too long. Oh, they react in many ways in the beginning. They react with guilt feelings, and sometimes they’ll hate you a little more at that transition period, but just keep loving them. And by the power of your love they will break down under the load. That’s love, you see. It is redemptive, and this is why Jesus says love. There’s something about love that builds up and is creative. There is something about hate that tears down and is destructive. So love your enemies. (from "Loving Your Enemies")”

    ― Martin Luther King Jr., A Knock at Midnight: Inspiration from the Great Sermons of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.

    “I have a dream that one day little black boys and girls will be holding hands with little white boys and girls.”

    ― Martin Luther King Jr., I Have A Dream

    “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

    ― Martin Luther King Jr.

    “Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal.”

    ― Martin Luther King Jr.

    “We must live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”

    ― Martin Luther King Jr.

    “Science investigates; religion interprets. Science gives man knowledge, which is power; religion gives man wisdom, which is control. Science deals mainly with facts; religion deals mainly with values. The two are not rivals.”

    ― Martin Luther King Jr.

    “People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don't know each other; they don't know each other because they have not communicated with each other.”

    ― Martin Luther King Jr.

    “No person has the right to rain on your dreams.”

    ― Martin Luther King Jr.

    “Wars are poor chisels for carving out peaceful tomorrows.”

    ― Martin Luther King Jr.

    “As my sufferings mounted I soon realized that there were two ways in which I could respond to my situation -- either to react with bitterness or seek to transform the suffering into a creative force. I decided to follow the latter course.”

    ― Martin Luther King Jr.

    “the time is always right to do the right thing”

    ― Martin Luther King Jr.

    “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.”

    ― Martin Luther King Jr.

    “There can be no deep disappointment where there is not deep love.”

    ― Martin Luther King Jr.

    “Not only will we have to repent for the sins of bad people; but we also will have to repent for the appalling silence of good people.”

    ― Martin Luther King Jr.

    “On some positions, cowardice asks the question, is it expedient? And then expedience comes along and asks the question, is it politic? Vanity asks the question, is it popular? Conscience asks the question, is it right?

    There comes a time when one must take the position that is neither safe nor politic nor popular, but he must do it because conscience tells him it is right.”

    ― Martin Luther King Jr.

    “Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?”

    ― Martin Luther King Jr.

    “The choice is not between violence and nonviolence but between nonviolence and nonexistence.”

    ― Martin Luther King Jr.

    “Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it.”

    ― Martin Luther King Jr., A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches

    “Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.”

    ― Martin Luther King Jr.

    “Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy to a friend.”

    ― Martin Luther King Jr.

    “One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.”

    ― Martin Luther King Jr.

    “The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was: 'If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?' But...the good Samaritan reversed the question: 'If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?”

    ― Martin Luther King Jr.

    “Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.”

    ― Martin Luther King Jr., I Have a Dream: Writings and Speeches That Changed the World

    “We must rapidly begin the shift from a "thing-oriented" society to a "person-oriented" society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.”

    ― Martin Luther King Jr.

    “An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.”

    ― Martin Luther King Jr.

    “Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men.”

    ― Martin Luther King Jr.

    “If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way”

    ― Martin Luther King Jr.

    “True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring. ”

    ― Martin Luther King Jr.

    “Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars... Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

    ― Martin Luther King Jr.

    “Another way that you love your enemy is this: When the opportunity presents itself for you to defeat your enemy, that is the time which you must not do it. There will come a time, in many instances, when the person who hates you most, the person who has misused you most, the person who has gossiped about you most, the person who has spread false rumors about you most, there will come a time when you will have an opportunity to defeat that person. It might be in terms of a recommendation for a job; it might be in terms of helping that person to make some move in life. That’s the time you must do it. That is the meaning of love. In the final analysis, love is not this sentimental something that we talk about. It’s not merely an emotional something. Love is creative, understanding goodwill for all men. It is the refusal to defeat any individual. When you rise to the level of love, of its great beauty and power, you seek only to defeat evil systems. Individuals who happen to be caught up in that system, you love, but you seek to defeat the system.”

    ― Martin Luther King Jr.

    “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”

    ― Martin Luther King Jr.

    “One of the great liabilities of history is that all too many people fail to remain awake through great periods of social change. Every society has its protectors of status quo and its fraternities of the indifferent who are notorious for sleeping through revolutions. Today, our very survival depends on our ability to stay awake, to adjust to new ideas, to remain vigilant and to face the challenge of change.”

    ― Martin Luther King Jr.

    “Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.”

    ― Martin Luther King Jr.

    “I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.”

    ― Martin Luther King Jr.

    “The day we see the truth and cease to speak is the day we begin to die”

    ― Martin Luther King Jr.

    “Lightning makes no sound until it strikes.”

    ― Martin Luther King Jr.,

    “If you lose hope, somehow you lose the vitality that keeps moving, you lose that courage to be, that quality that helps you go on in spite of it all. And so today I still have a dream.”

    ― Martin Luther King Jr.

    “Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.”

    ― Martin Luther King Jr.

    “Power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love.”

    ― Martin Luther King Jr.

    Today, Dr. King is considered to be one of the most important figures of the 20th century, not only for African-Americans but for all those seeking freedom, justice, equality and peace. His unique approach to the philosophy of nonviolent action stands as one of the most successful alternatives to the world’s ongoing struggle against violent conflict, and against structural injustice -

    News Update

    My son Mr. Jerry Vernardo Perez Jr. is in settled in school at The University of Arizona in Tucson. Freshman Orientation was on Monday January 12, 2015 and his classes started on Wednesday January 14, 2015. HIP HIP HOORAY! HIP HIP HOORAY.......HE IS ON HIS WAY!!! I am indeed a very proud Mom. ONE MORE KID TO GO AND THAT IS MY GIRL JOY MONAY PEREZ, (she has been talking about going to college since about 3rd or 4th grade)!!!!!! (Aww man, I forgot to ask someone at the University if the sports games were free admission.........I am sure it varies depending on the school and also depending on the type of game.)

    RYM-TYM NEWS AND OH! RADIO SHOW UPCOMING LIVE SHOW REMINDER

    Hello my faithful supporters, I, Martha Wooden the hostess and creator of RYM-TYM want to thank you much for stopping by. Also, OH! RADIO SHOW wants to thank all of you who have tuned in to listen to all of the live broadcasts that have been aired online during standard mountain time. Greatly looking forward to hosting the next show which will be airing live in February of 2015. The next show and the new topic of discussion will be posted and scheduled soon on the OH! RADIO SHOW website, I am working on it now. So stay with me (my work schedule is somewhat all over the place right now but working on some great things that are on their way to soon being set in motion and in place, all is so well (will share more with you later), thanks much for your patience). So very sorry for the gaps in show airings. Once the next show is posted and scheduled please save the date and be sure to tune in at that scheduled time to the OH! RADIO SHOW live on air broadcast. Coming soon........AN (OUT-SPOKEN HEART - discussion).......Again, thank you much for your much needed patience and faithful support!

    Once a show is scheduled to air live, be sure to check back frequently just in case for radio show rescheduling. Pre-Scheduled show dates and times are subject to change at any given time, sorry, but only if very necessary.

    A BIG THANKS TO EACH AND EVERYONE OF YOU FOR YOUR LOVE AND SUPPORT!!!!!

    YOU ALL ARE SUCH GREAT LISTENERS, I APPRECIATE YOU LEANING YOUR EAR IN THIS DIRECTION!!!!!!

    Don' forget about the....

    UNCONDITIONAL LOVE INFLUENCE....click on this link to read 1 CORINTHIANS 13

    REMEMBER TO HAVE A HAPPY NEW YEAR 2015 FILLED WITH LOTS OF UNCONDITIONAL LOVE LOVE, NEVER ENDING PROSPERITY WITH AN ABUNDANCE OF BLESSINGS, LIVING IN HAR-MO-NY, WELCOMED WITH LOTS OF LAUGHTER, BIG BRIGHT SMILES, WARM HUGS AND SWEET GENTLE KISSES, OVERFLOWING WITH JOY, GENUINELY KINDHEARTED, HAVING SOUNDNESS OF MIND AND WONDERFUL TRANQUIL PEACE!!

    STAY BLESSED, HOPEFUL AND JOYFUL!!!! I LEAVE YOU IN PEACE!!!!!!

    Martha (RYM-TYM & OH! RADIO SHOW Creator/Host)

    Smile God LOVES YOU and I-I-I-I do too!

    Thanks much for visiting, viewing, listening and reading

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