The importance of MLK Day now and always

Taran McZee

       By Taran McZee
       Director, Inclusion and Multicultural Services

Heroes are not born, they are made so by their circumstances. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a hero in the Civil Rights Movement and wanted justice for all people.

African-American rights were just one facet of his philosophy, and if he were here today he would still be working for the equality for all people. Without people with the ethical and moral fortitude to enforce these rules of equality, they are nothing more than resounding words on paper, and, therefore, without Dr. King’s message of love, of justice, of equality the future generations would be lost.

Dr. King’s speech was meant to get the audience thinking, to highlight the issues we face and make a clear point that there is still progress to be made. There’s hope and things are getting better, but there’s still a lot of work to do, and we’re far from the end. We are not only celebrating the memory of a great community leader, but also celebrating the strength of a people unified by a common cause to bring dignity and human rights to everyone.

Dr. King recognized the power of service to strengthen communities and achieve common goals. The MLK Day of Service is a way to transform Dr. King’s life and teachings into community action that helps meet national challenges on issues such as increasing economic opportunity, education, supporting veterans and military families, and helping communities prepare for and recover from disaster.

In addition to helping solve serious problems, service brings together people from different backgrounds and benefits those who serve. On MLK Day, it is especially fitting that Americans come together in service that not only honors Dr. King, but builds lasting change in communities.

NAU’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration will take place at 1 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 19. On Jan. 22 there will be a showing of the “Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin” documentary at the W.A. Franke College of Business in Gardner Auditorium at 6 p.m.