Monday, January 21, 2013

MLK Celebrants Work For 'A Dream'

Posted By on Mon, Jan 21, 2013 at 4:13 PM

“There are people from every walk of life here,” Boise Democratic Sen. Cherie Buckner-Webb said amid the buzz of celebration spiked with a strong dose of lobbying, plotting and organizing. “This is where we’re supposed to come and get revived so that we can do our work.”

The Idaho Statehouse clamored with work in progress during the celebration of Martin Luther King Jr./Idaho Human Rights Day. Behind the backdrop of music, song and speeches praising King and his legacy stood the civil-rights workers of today—purveyors of justice, champions of civil liberties and advocates for equality. They pressed palms, collected signatures and called on the celebrants of King’s legacy to keep the dream alive by protecting free speech, defending reproductive freedom and advancing universal equality.

“If Martin Luther King were here right now, he would tell each of you right now to work to make a difference,” said keynote speaker the Rev. Percy “Happy” Watkins. “He would tell each of you that if you cannot be a sun, be a star. He would tell each of you today to be the very best that you can be.”

Many celebrants used the day’s momentum and crowed Statehouse halls to become those suns and stars. Advocates and organizers used booth space and lobbying opportunities to make a difference for the environment, people of color, women, LBGT, people with disabilities and the poor. The multi-issue efforts highlighted the inclusive agenda of the modern civil-rights movement.

“There’s an intersection of human rights,” Planned Parenthood’s Jonny Carkin explained. When one segment of society is not free, none of us are free, he said.

The call for freedom came from Girl Scouts and AmeriCorps volunteers, who reminded celebrants to give back to their community one service project at a time. A push for civil rights came from the ACLU Idaho’s invitation to join in its efforts to protect the First Amendment, reproductive choice and Idaho human rights. And the Add the Words campaign echoed its own Statehouse call to extend liberty and justice to everyone, regardless of who they love.

For MLK celebrants, the hope of Dr. King extends to everyone who has known oppression and everyone who loves freedom.

“Martin Luther King’s message of hope is so universal and inspiring to so many different people,” said Add the Words co-chair Mistie Tolman. “It’s all interconnected.”

Many celebrants used the day’s momentum and crowed Statehouse halls to become those suns and stars. Advocates and organizers used booth space and lobbying opportunities to make a difference for the environment, people of color, women, LBGT, people with disabilities and the poor. The multi-issue efforts highlighted the inclusive agenda of the modern civil-rights movement.

“There’s an intersection of human rights,” Planned Parenthood’s Jonny Carkin explained. When one segment of society is not free, none of us are free, he said.

The call for freedom came from Girl Scouts and AmeriCorps volunteers, who reminded celebrants to give back to their community one service project at a time. A push for civil rights came from the ACLU Idaho’s invitation to join in its efforts to protect the First Amendment, reproductive choice and Idaho human rights. And the Add the Words campaign echoed its own Statehouse call to extend liberty and justice to everyone, regardless of who they love.

For MLK celebrants, the hope of Dr. King extends to everyone who has known oppression and everyone who loves freedom.

“Martin Luther King’s message of hope is so universal and inspiring to so many different people,” said Add the Words co-chair Mistie Tolman. “It’s all interconnected.”

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