Martin Luther King, Jr.’s speech a benchmark for peace and equality

Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke to millions at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. on August 28, 1963.

By Sharon Dunten, editor of

In 1963 I was only five years-old, but I knew something extraordinary was happening in this country.  As I watched the television network news with my family, I saw the raw footage of riots in the South and fires in Detroit as this country fought for civil rights for all its citizens.  As a child, these images sometimes frightened me, but they also intrigued me.  I just couldn’t figure out what the fuss was all about.  I guess at five we are still color blind.  I don’t remember watching Martin Luther King, Jr.’s speech on television, but I do remember the news of his speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial was all over the newspaper headlines. Very soon after his speech, President Kennedy was shot and killed.  And in 1968, Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated.  I was ten years-old in 1968 and was beginning to understand the chaos in this country concerning poverty and race, as well as the rising discourse concerning the Vietnam War.

Martin Luther King’s speech imprinted a broad change in this country that led its people toward King’s dream of quiet and peaceful protest, and even more important, equality.  Even though fighting for equality was not always peaceful, his speech and actions created a benchmark toward peaceful resolutions.

As we celebrate Martin Luther King’s birthday, please re-read his speech to understand his mark in U.S. history. We might  have come far as a  nation in the understanding of equality, but we need to remain relentless in redefining equality as it was is spoken so clearly in King’s speech in 1963.  Read Martin Luther King’s speech, “I have a dream,” by linking here.


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Entrepreneurship and urban justice planned for rebirth of bankrupt Detroit

Once the mecca of the American automobile industry, Detroit has watched the foreign car market invade the American landscape and with it, the love of cars built in America.  Slowly, Detroit residents exodus the city, jobs were slashed and local leaders were left without a dime.  Today, with a population of  300,000, only 27 jobs are available per 100 people in the city.  Even with the federal bailout to insure the American auto industry’s demise, the city of Detroit never recovered.  Recent headlines pronounce bankruptcy for the Motor City, while other U.S. cities struggle not hit rock bottom along with Detroit.

But urban developers have plans to re-energize the city, promote economic growth and bring back home ownership to this once thriving metropolis.  Watch the TED video and listen to Toni Griffin, an urban planner, speaking in New York City, as she reassures audience members that entrepreneurship and implementing great change will reinvent Detroit.


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Contact: As poverty rises, legal assistance dwindles for N.J.’s poor

Capital building in Trenton, N.J. Flickr photo

By Salvador Rizzo, The Star-Ledger

Trenton, N.J. – … “Every year, hundreds of thousands of New Jersey’s poorest residents run into legal problems that threaten to derail their lives, but only one in six will get a lawyer to fight for them, according to Legal Services of New Jersey, a network of nonprofit organizations that provides free legal assistance for the poor in civil cases such as fighting evictions or securing restraining orders.” … to read the complete article, link here.

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