On Monday, January 16, 2023, we celebrate, commemorate, and honor the life and legacy of an American Hero and icon, Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The observance of the King Holiday is an opportunity for all of us to reflect on the powerful teachings and relevant messages of Dr. King. The work and sacrifice of Dr. King have been instrumental in the effort to achieve equality for African Americans and also significant to the progress of humanity.
Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy has inspired numerous other civil rights movements within the United States and worldwide. Dr. King’s support for Latino activists such as Cesar Chavez during the United Farm Workers union acknowledged and highlighted the similarities in the struggle for African American rights and the rights of Latinos. Elements and strategies of the early Pride and Gay Rights activism borrowed and relied on much of the foundation laid by the Black Civil Rights Movement. The recent George Floyd protest movement in 2020 gave us images strikingly similar to the civil rights marches in the 1960s. Multiethnic groups of men and women, children and elders, and gay and straight people came together in solidarity to protest racial injustice in our county. Dr. King bonded people together, allowing them to see themselves as part of the same-shared struggle and inspiring them to be a part of the solution.
Each year, we witness events in America and around the world that allow us to gauge our societal progress. Yet, we are repeatedly shown that there is still so much work to do. The King Center’s 2023 Martin Luther King Jr. Day theme, “It Starts with Me: Cultivating a Beloved Community Mindset to Transform Unjust Systems”, reminds us that real change in our society begins with us as individuals. “Who must we be? What must we do? And what are we to accomplish?” are three questions in the King Center’s “Be Love” Challenge that reminds us that we each have a responsibility and role in creating social change toward a humane, equitable, and peaceful world.
When we decide to “Be Love”, it begins to transform the space and environments around us, in our homes, families, communities, and workplaces. The transformation we have seen and experienced in American society is the result of the work and accomplishments of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Today, we can witness manifestations of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision of “little black boys and black girls joining hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers”, stated in his famous “I Have a Dream” speech; demonstrating that real change towards equality, diversity, racial justice, inclusion, equity, belonging and freedom, for all, is possible.
BUILD invites you to celebrate the honorable Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by proactively realigning our commitment, focus, and efforts and engaging to affect positive change in our agencies, communities, and the great State of Washington. There is no time for complacency. The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. lived as an example that moving forward is not an option but an obligation.
As a Washington State Business Resource Group, BUILD seeks opportunities to engage with agencies and communities. Our commitment is to share our perspectives on the varying aspects of the social, historical, and current trends in matters of equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging from the Black Community viewpoint. As part of this effort and journey, we welcome and value allies from all communities to join us in this transformative venture.
“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.” -- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
MLK Weekend Events
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