This year we honor Dr. King’s legacy amid the most profound and determined reckoning on racial injustice our nation has experienced in decades. Calls for racial equity and an end to systemic racism ring out more emphatically than before--in the criminal justice system, education, housing and – laid bare by the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on the African-American community – in healthcare. We all are compelled to translate the words, “Black lives matter” into action.
Like everything else, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day is different now. The Kingdom Day Parade – the largest MLK Day celebration in the nation – has been canceled. Community volunteer opportunities for this national day of service are mostly online. But the hard work of advancing justice endures.
With the horrifying and unimaginable hate-fueled attack on the U.S. Capitol still so fresh in our minds, this Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day is especially consequential. In 1963, Dr. King famously wrote “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” His words continue, “We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly."
We all need to affirm this doctrine of shared destiny. The racial justice and equality we so urgently seek and desperately need, that to which Dr. King devoted his short life, can emerge—if we make it happen. Together.