What Would Martin Luther King Jr. Do?

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What Would Martin Luther King Jr. Do?

As we celebrate the birthday of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., it’s a good time to remember his legacy of nonviolence and social justice – and the courageous way he tackled the biggest challenges of his day, even when it was dangerous, unpopular or difficult to do so. If Dr. King were alive today, he would still be using his influence and formidable oratorical skills to tackle the poverty, hunger and economic challenges in our country and right here in Washington, DC. I can imagine him marching on Washington again for the 30,000 children who are hungry in the District of Columbia. Dr. King’s acceptance speech when he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 were very clear on his priorities,

“I have the audacity to believe that peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality and freedom for their spirits.”

Dr. King didn’t get here with us, but he would see both progress and more work to do in addressing poverty. He would have the harshest words for those who aren’t personally involved in the struggle against hunger, poverty and economic inequity that leave so many children and families struggling to get enough to eat, to get the education or the housing that would stabilize their lives and the opportunity for a better future.

So, you say, how do you figure out what to do about poverty and hunger when the challenges seem so steep? I think Dr. King would say start by helping one child or one family, start by investing that first dollar in solutions, and find smart, action-oriented people who feel as you do. I would like to think that I’ve done that by joining Martha’s Table as Development Director. I have the audacity to believe that my action becomes part of the collective action necessary to take on poverty — the most important fight of my generation.

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