As we prepare to celebrate the extraordinary life and remarkable achievements of Dr. King we cannot forget to remember the tremendous contributions he made to our country, our lives, our society and the Labor movement - contributions recognized by a national holiday in his honor, the only non-president granted with such an honor.
Dr. King's eloquence, so beautifully evident in his speeches, is perhaps exceeded only by the power of his ideas. His life was dedicated to non-violence and he was a powerful force speaking out for equality, justice, opportunity and dignity for all people. His message and support for unions is undisputed throughout his life. As Dr. King said in his letter from Birmingham Jail, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
In honoring Dr. King's birthday, we honor his courage. And we honor the courage of other Black people before, during and after Dr. King's time who have sacrificed and put themselves at risk to speak out and work for what is right. We must continue his work for a society that recognizes and supports the humanity and fair treatment of all people of all races, ethnicities, and color. However, this fight must not be left to only to our brothers and sisters of color, we must ALL accept our part in this movement for equality.
Dr. King was motivated by a dream and he spoke of a nation where people are "not judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character." His life's work brought about profound progress. Yet over the past year and past week, almost 53 years after Dr. King's death, we have been witnessing reminders of how far we still must go to achieve Dr. King's dream. Our country is experiencing divisions today that clearly tell us that Dr. King's work remains unfinished. This is a conversation that can no longer be sidelined or can wait. We have seen the stark difference & treatment between the white and black community. The proudest work of our Equity Committee here at local 1298 has been our bias and racism workshops and are so proud of the feedback we have received for those members who took their time to participate.
How each of us reflects on the words and actions of Dr. King and reacts to what is happening in our nation today is personal. On this day, the Martin Luther King holiday, we hope you find some time to absorb its meaning and think about what Dr. King's legacy might teach us about our nation today and your part, whatever form that takes for you, in bringing our society closer to the dream.
"Make a career of humanity, commit yourself to the noble struggle of equal rights. You will make a greater person of yourself, a greater nation of your country, and a finer world to live in." - the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
CWA Local 1298 Civil Rights and Equity Committee:
Esther Almodovar- Chair
Louise Gibson, Katie Montalbano
Pam Jaynez, Sharon Brooks
Earl McCoy, Kim Edwards
Yoaly Lopez,Genece Taylor & Tommy Joyner