We All Have A Role In The Movement
I’ve always been passionate about making the world a better place. I knew at an early age that I wanted to spend my life helping others. Important figures, like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. inspired me to stand up for what I believe in and speak truth to power.
But their legacies also cast a long shadow. As I grew up, I began to feel less and less sure of my ability to effect change. I thought it would be impossible to make a real difference if I didn’t have the charisma, the fearlessness, the ability to build a movement of my own.
That fear kept me frozen. I felt like nothing I did was enough. If the impact wasn’t massive, I thought, why do it at all?
A mentor of mine eventually sat me down and told me, “Jamayka, your hands are not big enough to hold the whole world. Focus on what you can change right now, right here, today.”
Like most teenagers, I rolled my eyes at that advice, and continued to let my fear of failure prevent me from seeing the real impact everyday people, like my mentor, were having on the people in our community— one hot meal, or ride to a townhall, or enlightening conversation at a time.
It wasn’t until I had the chance to really learn about the history of the Civil Rights Movement and the hundreds of thousands of regular people that changed the world, that my mentor’s advice made sense to me. Dr. King’s words and actions were inspiring and impactful, but the movement we identify him with existed long before he was born and continues to this day.
We don’t have to head a march of 100,000 people in order to be leaders in our own communities and make changes that make the lives of those around us a little safer, easier, fairer.
This MLK Day, let us all remember that each one of us is a critical part of the movement to create a just and equitable education system for every child. We all have a role to play, and each of us, when we come together with our community members, can make a real difference.
What actions will you take this MLK Day in support of students, educators, and schools? Let us know by taking our MLK Day Pledge to Act.
Need some ideas for how you can get involved? Here are a few ways you can take action today!
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