Community Engagement · Reflections · Social Justice

Honoring Martin Luther King, Jr.

Today is the start of the Martin Luther King, Jr. long weekend in the United States. There are a lot of great celebrations, remembrances, prayer breakfasts, and acts of service that will be done as part of the three day weekend. I’d like to add another possible way to honor Martin Luther King, Jr. this long weekend.

  1. Read one of your favorite quotes by Dr. King.
  2. Locate a source from which that quote was lifted
  3. Read that source in its entirety and reflect on what King might have meant through those words given his personal history, race, culture, and context of the time. How does that compare to your own understanding given your personal history, race, culture, and context of your time? What were the underlying values that motivated Dr. Kings words and message? What are yours that initially attracted you to the quote? How do the values compare and contrast?
  4. Reflect on ways in which you’ve been using the quote consistent with the broader message being delivered by Dr. King when he spoke those words. Reflect also on the ways in which your usage comes in conflict with the broader message being delivered by Dr. King when he spoke those words. In what ways might you move beyond applying the words isolated from the broader message, to incorporating the broader message into your justice initiatives? What would be the ramifications?
  5. Get together with a few others and share each others insights.
  6. Find a way to turn your reflections and discussion into action over the coming weeks and months. Using observations from your actions, return to step #3 and repeat, trying to go still deeper in your understanding.

Here’s to a meaningful honoring of the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr., this weekend and throughout the year.

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