Martin Luther King, Jr. is the model of a leader. He is the prototype for the kind of leader EPIP strives to create. It is a lofty goal but it is the marker we must set if we are building a movement of people committed to making the world more just, equitable, and sustainable.
I was fortunate to travel to Washington, DC on the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Justice. I boarded a bus in the early morning hours of August 28th with my Big Brothers Big Sisters mentee and a former student of mine from my teaching days and his two sons. It was an incredible day of learning, sharing, and celebrating. But, there is a lot of work yet to do.
I asked my mentee to take photos of the quotes around the King Memorial close to the Mall. The quotes he selected provide encouragement for us to step up and be leaders. Dr. King let us know that ...
...All of us are connected
...We all deserve the best in life
...Everyone can make a difference
...We all deserve justice, but
...Leaders must push beyond their comfort zones
...Because that's what it takes to spread good.
In Dr. King's words...
If we are to have peace on Earth, our loyalties must become ecumenical rather than sectional. Our loyalties must transcend our race, our tribe, our class, and our nation. And this means we must develop a world perspective.I have the audacity to believe that people everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality, and freedom for their spirits.Make a career of humanity. Commit yourself to the noble struggle for equal rights. You will make a greater person of yourself, a greater nation of your country, and a finer world to live in.True peace is not merely the absence of tension. It is the presence of justice.The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.
I often describe EPIP as the beloved community because we are diverse and committed to making a difference. Dr. King's words provide guidance to us as we continue on our journey for justice.
EPIP's commitment to justice and equity continues. In November 2013, EPIP will convene the next People of Color Network gathering in Boston, MA. Also, in partnership with the Proteus Fund and the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice at Harvard Law School, we will be offering a workshop on implicit bias that is free and open to everyone. We're also in preparation for the Joint Affinity Group's Unity Summit preceding the COF annual conference in Washington, DC in June 2014. More information to come on this important gathering. We'll be forming conference committees in the coming weeks. Please contact [email protected] if you're interested in serving on a committee.