Martin Luther King Day

by Juliette Baumann

As we wrap up the long weekend, it’s important to remember the reason why we’re off from school or work today. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a visionary for the future, left behind an incredible legacy behind that helped shape our country’s legacy. As an accomplished scholar, Dr. King played an active role in shaping the Civil Rights Movement and worked tirelessly to act as a voice of reason during this turbulent period of time. 

After graduating with his doctorate from Boston University in 1953, Dr. King became pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. In addition to this position, he was a member of the executive committee of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, a very prominent organization in the United States, especially during this time period. 

In the years leading up to his assassination, Dr. King rose to fame as a prominent thought leader calling for necessary reform in our legislation. His efforts were widespread across the country, leading protests and peaceful marches, including his famous address, “I Have a Dream.” He later went on to win the Nobel Peace Prize at age 35 and was assassinated on April 4th, 1968.

In 1986, to honor Dr. King’s work, President Ronald Reagan signed a bill creating a federal holiday in the United States. Some may wonder how Dr. King achieved all of this, leaving his long-lasting legacy and eventually positioning himself as a world leader, but to Dr. King, he was just speaking up for what he believed in. We can only hope that Dr. King’s life story inspires others to be thought leaders on controversial topics, especially with the world that we live in today. With policies being what they are, social issues, including the focus on caring for our environment has wavered. 

With the advancement of technology, our environment is changing for the worst. As time goes by the materials that we find convenient and useful are destroying the Earth. Build on the inspiration from thought leaders like Dr. King and celebrate his legacy by leaving your own mark on society. 

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