A Debt to Dr. King

October 20, 2011
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To The Editor:

Sunday’s dedication of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial in Washington, D.C. was to coincide with the 48th anniversary of the historic March on Washington and King’s famed “I Have a Dream” speech.

While the centerpiece dedication was postponed a few weeks ago as the East Coast braced for Hurricane Irene, the forces of Nature could only slightly delay the unveiling of the new Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C., a monument to a great and articulate leader who spoke passionately and worked unceasingly to make the dream of equal rights, dignity and opportunity a reality for African Americans and ultimately, for all of us.

Dr. King’s words and his vision still resonate today. Indeed, the dream of justice, equality and the moral value of each person have become universal truths, all in a country where each individual is judged by “the content of their character not the color of their skin.” These are words we can – and should – live by to this day!

Dr. King spoke and wrote his words and led the Movement before the time of America’s great diversity; the time we live in now.

Yet the struggle for respect and worth continues for so many now –for many African Americans, for Latinos, Asians, the disabled, the LGBTQ community and women. These individuals have dreams; too, “treat me with dignity and respect; give me a chance at my dream.”

The value and rights Dr. King fought and died for hold true today for all people. We all owe a debt to Dr. King whose leadership and message withstands the test of time.

Diane Schwartz
President and CEO
American Conference on Diversity
New Brunswick

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