Just like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., we have a dream. We have a dream that one day, celebrating Black History Month will be an afterthought, because we will have progressed so far as a society that equality will truly be a way of life.
We have a dream that one day, we will indeed be judged by the content of our character, and not the color of our skin, or our nationality, or our gender, or our sexual orientation.
Yes, we have a dream. But for all the progress that we, as a nation, have made since Dr. King delivered his historic “I Have a Dream” speech during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in August 1963, we still have a long way to go in our quest.
This Monday, Jan. 18, our nation will recall the message and memory of Dr. King. And while his dream remains unfulfilled, and seemingly broken at times, that doesn’t mean we don’t continue to try to solve the problems and work toward peace, for we can only have peace among ourselves when we truly find peace within ourselves.
Despite headlines that suggest otherwise, Dr. King’s message still resonates strong, across the United States, and here in our backyard. Several local organizations will come together to recall the legacy of the slain civil rights leader on Monday. For example:
• Caribbean-Americans for Community Involvement (CAFCI) and the Village of Royal Palm Beach will present their 14th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration, taking place Monday, Jan. 18 at the Royal Palm Beach Cultural Center. The free celebration starts at 10 a.m. and ends around noon, with a light breakfast provided from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. This year’s theme is “Dignity, Justice, Equality & Love.”
• Wellington’s “Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service” will take place Monday, Jan. 18 from 10 a.m. to noon. Teen volunteers will be able to earn community service hours beautifying the Wellington Dog Park at 2975 Greenbriar Blvd. by painting the restrooms, spreading mulch and more. Teens interested in participating in the project should call Meridith Tuckwood at (561) 753-2476 or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• The 35th annual Scholarship & Awards Breakfast presented by the Martin Luther King Jr. Coordinating Committee of West Palm Beach will take place at the Palm Beach County Convention Center on Monday, Jan. 18 starting at 7:30 a.m. For additional information, call (561) 832-4682 or visit www.mlkcc-1444.org.
• Dr. King will be honored at the 22nd annual Candlelight March through downtown Lake Worth. Participants will gather at 5 p.m. at City Hall and parade down Lake Avenue to the Cultural Plaza. A brief commemorative program in the plaza will feature the rededication of the MLK Globe Fountain. The fountain, installed in 2005, has been refurbished and rebalanced so that the four-ton granite globe will once again float freely and be rotated by hand. To mark the occasion, a children’s choir will perform “We Are the World.” Several other events are also planned in Lake Worth, such as an interfaith service at St. Andrews Lutheran Church in the morning and a fellowship dinner in the evening at First Baptist Church.
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” Dr. King famously stated during a speech before the National Urban League in 1960. “Therefore, no American can afford to be apathetic about the problem of racial justice. It is a problem that meets every man at his front door.”
We have a dream that someday, this problem will no longer exist at anyone’s door.