Letter from Birmingham Jail
The city is beginning to see a true renaissance for the first time in a generation.
This Martin Luther King Holiday, we need to be mindful of what public school educators are telling us about the state of our schools and by extension, our children and our democracy. "Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly."
Now connect the dots, from the 2009 Extremism reports to the NDAA and the UN's Strong Cities Network with its globalized police forces, the National Security Agency's far-reaching surveillance networks, and fusion centers that collect and share surveillance data between local, state and federal police agencies.
To impose, for personal convenience, a narrow range of faith-based decisions on legally-sanctioned secular conditions flies directly in the faith we have in our Constitution-based society.
We are hearing a great deal from those in our society who would like to turn the clock back on voting rights, civil rights, and the right to peaceably assemble. But I believe there are many more people of good will among us than various news reports might lead us to believe. Hopefully, more of them will raise their voices in continuance of our search for "a more perfect Union."
On it's "Meaning of The King Holiday" page, The King Center of Atlanta declares "...it is the young people of all races and religions who hold the keys to the fulfillment of [Dr. King's] dream." Nico, 5, who attends pre-school in Birmingham, Alabama, lends credence to that hope.
Dr. King's life is a reminder to seek light in darkness, to be the change itself. In this, I find much room for optimism around the world in young men and women equipped with both skills and moral courage, daring to do what is right, not easy.
When you consider the impact climate change will have on our collective future, it is instructive to remember what Martin Luther King had to say about the power of non-violent civil disobedience in that letter in 1958.
As the capital of Alabama, and former capital of The Confederate States of America, Montgomery is steeped in history, but for people of our generation its recent history is more transformational. This is the city where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. began his civil rights work.
Children played a critical role in demonstrations that defined the civil rights movement in Birmingham. Fifty years later, we remember another leader, the late Dr. Michael Froning, for helping Birmingham's children, families and teachers develop a sense of their own stake in education.