From the Board Chair, Byron Bland
I grew up with the Civil Rights Movement happening around me. In 1964, I was fifteen years old living in the Deep South. Mine was the first integrated class to graduate from my high school. I am thankful for the people who struggled to bring about those changes because they –both the people and the changes—helped to make me a better person.
We live today in a world also crying out for change. We feel the urgency to do something but we don’t know what we can do. Our growing sense of powerlessness leaves us exhausted and fearful. Even more troubling, we fear each other perhaps more than the threats that loom large in our future. The world around us seems literally to be “going to hell in a handbasket.”
On the King Memorial in the National Mall are written these promising words: “Out of a mountain of despair, a stone of hope.” The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. offered a vision of people coming together in love to make a better world that we might call home. We must revive this legacy to meet the challenges we face today. It is a task beyond the abilities of anyone alone but well within the scope of us acting together. The Justice and Peace Foundation has developed the King Legacy Framework to capture the essence of hope we need today and to channel it into effective action. Each of us must do our part, and I am honored to have the opportunity to play my role in these efforts.