Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Today we commemorate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who dedicated his life to denouncing injustice and was one of the most influential leaders of the civil rights movement in the United States, though his impact is felt throughout the diaspora.

Today we commemorate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who dedicated his life to denouncing injustice and was one of the most influential leaders of the civil rights movement in the United States, though his impact is felt throughout the diaspora. 

This day offers us the opportunity to reflect on Dr. King’s famous words: “I have a dream”, as we know that you too have a dream of a more just world for all, especially those who face the most vulnerability, oppression and marginalization.

In this sense, what is your dream for historically oppressed people, how do you think you can push for a more just future for Black people?  And, given the current landscape, how and in what areas can you take action to advance Dr. King’s mission?

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

In these times of challenge and controversy these are some of the ways we think you can commemorate Dr. King’s birthday:

If you belong to a collective of historically oppressed people:

  1. Build community: Several black thinkers and activists such as Martin Luther King Jr. and bell hooks agree on the importance of love a$nd community. For many, the sense of love and community has been the driving force that has kept them looking forward and fighting for a future free of racism and discrimination. In this sense, to continue building community, you can partner with like-minded people who are working on a vision of a world similar to your own. For example, the UNARC coalition has been working for years for a more just world by pushing for accountability within the UN for systemic racism and violence within law enforcement towards people of African and African descent. You can learn more about how to join UNARC HERE.
  2. Rest: more and more we realize how important it is to rest in order to continue. If you have the opportunity, take a day to rest, this is something we have historically been denied. 

  3. Spread joy: historically oppressed people have many reasons to be angry. However, joy as resistance teaches us that joy – not that joy based on ignorance of reality and/or apathy, but the deep joy anchored in our ancestry and spirituality – can be the center and engine for activism, help us reclaim our human dignity and break through expectations.

If you are not from a historically oppressed collective and you consider yourself an ally:

  1. Donate to an organization that is fighting against injustice.

  2. Use your voice to make people around you more aware of injustices.

  3. UNARC is a coalition that fights injustice towards people of African and African descent in the area of law enforcement violence, you can start following UNARC on social media to support their work.

There are many ways to properly honor Dr. King’s legacy, life and sacrifices. To that end, UNARC invites you to dream with us for a future centered in justice (taking the path of reparations), equity, celebration of differences, community, honesty and love.

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