On January 18, 2021, just like every third Monday of January each year, we are —as a nation undivided—given a day off (some) to reflect and celebrate the work of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
But this year, some 53 years after his murder and as a nation divided, this federal holiday stands as symbolic imperative to remember and study and honor his teachings. He believed and taught that the way to bring about social change, the way to advance civil rights was through nonviolent activism. Peaceful 'civil' disobedience. He was awarded the Nobel Peace prize in 1964 for combatting racial inequality through nonviolent resistance. We could all do well to remember that this is the way. (Thank you Mando.)
It's disheartening to look back on history and see that it took 32 years for MLK Day to be recognized*, and sadder still that violence, poverty, and injustice are an accepted part of our American landscape.
In Dr. King's honor, What’s Good will not be offering any sales or specials or other gimmicky exploitations. Instead we're going to make a donation and add to it $5 for every order we receive on January 18, 2021 to the Equal Justice Initiative**. As we grow so will our collective ability to make a bigger difference, and to do more good. We appreciate you joining us on the this journey.
And, in case this sounds all doom and gloom. We're pretty darn revved up that good people from diverse ethnic, LGBTQ, and economic backgrounds are filling the seats of our government. Good people are finding careers with missions to give back and support people and planet. Good people are finding and distributing vaccines and caring for their neighbors more than ever. The good list goes on. But today, our focus is on Dr. King.
Thanks for reading.
P.S. I'm no expert, just sharing a few things I happened upon during my own searches.
*The campaign for a federal holiday in King's honor began soon after his murder in 1968. It took 15 years for it to be signed into law as a holiday, it then took another 3 years for it to first be observed. It's not surprising that some states resisted observing the holiday, giving it alternative names or combining it with other holidays. It wasn't until 2000 that it was officially observed in all 50 states.
The EJI is a 501c (3) and works with communities that have been marginalized by poverty and discouraged by unequal treatment. They are committed to changing the narrative about race in America. The EJI provides legal representation to people who have been illegally convicted, unfairly sentenced, or abused in state jails and prisons. They challenge the death penalty and excessive punishment and we provide re-entry assistance to formerly incarcerated people.
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