My parents named me (my middle name is Martin) after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., with whom my mother worked closeIy during the Civil Rights Movement. Growing up, my mother shared personal recollections about Dr. King’s courage, resilience, and willingness to persevere no matter the obstacle. To make a way out of no way, which Black people have always done. She also made clear that, as important as Dr. King’s leadership was, it was the actions over several years of everyday people who, as indomitable civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer said, were "sick and tired of being sick and tired" that led to pathbreaking progress.
This MLK Day, if you are sick and tired of this pandemic, of remote learning, of children and families’ unnecessary suffering, and of the staggering inequities in our communities and nation, there is something important you can do from the safety of your home: Urge your lawmakers to pass President-elect Biden's COVID-19 relief package, which includes an important temporary expansion of the Child Tax Credit that will make a major difference and, if made permanent, will dramatically reduce child poverty and virtually end extreme child poverty.
Dr. King said, “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.”
To get our nation through this crisis and to a more just and equitable and harmonious place, every single person who stands for children needs to be as persistent in our actions as millions of Americans were during the Civil Rights Movement.
The first step, and an apt way to honor the legacy of Dr. King, is to ask lawmakers to pass President-elect Biden’s COVID-19 relief package, which will hasten the end of the pandemic, enable schools to reopen safely, and provide urgently needed help to tens of millions of families struggling to afford food, housing, and other necessities.