On the 95th birthday of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we remember his courage, his vision, and the Dreams he had for a nation free from segregation, discrimination, and injustice. In his famous “I Have a Dream” speech at the March on Washington in August 1963, Dr. King said,
“Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.”
But now is also the time when the forces of systemic racism, voter suppression, and anti-democracy are on the rise to an extent we haven’t seen since the height of the civil rights struggles of the 1950s and 60s. Political violence is creeping back into the mainstream, met by a deafening silence from so-called leaders who are afraid to challenge politicians who ally themselves with dictators, rather than the dream of Dr. King.
But we are not afraid. Nor are we going to shrink from this challenge. NOW members continue to draw inspiration, courage, and energy from Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King. And we also recall the words of his partner, Coretta Scott King, who reminded us,
“Freedom is never really won. You earn it and you win it in every generation.”
As activists, carrying this mission and keeping this dream alive across multiple generations is our great cause. We rededicate ourselves to voting rights, civil rights, women’s rights, and gender and are proud to carry on Dr. King’s fight today.