Approved by unanimous consent--as in full-body, bipartisan support--the new measure would extend the life of the 2008 Emmett Till Act that has provided $10 million a year to fund FBI investigations of cold cases of civil rights era murders. That original law is set to expire after next year.
As we celebrate Black History Month and remember the ongoing struggle for civil and human rights, one of the most striking lessons from history is that movements for social change never go smoothly.
"A just society is not one built on fear or repression or vengeance or exclusion, but one built on love."
Following in the footsteps of the civil rights leaders who marched across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, we are left with the challenge to discover our own leadership mission and cultivate the moral courage to advance leadership for social justice.
Something amazing happened on Friday at my school... my students exercised their right to conduct a peaceful protest. They organized their strategy within a week; attributing leadership credit to one they called "Ms. Kelly."
Selma opened the 2015 Palm Springs International Film Festival, and I was on the red carpet to interview director Eva DuVernay and star David Oyelowo, and capture remarks by PSIFF Executive Director Darryl Macdonald, Director of Programming Helen Du Toit, and last but not least, rapper Common.
In the past year or so, there has been a tendency for white people opposed to any outcry against police brutality and ongoing racial discrimination to invoke MLK's words about the content of character being the yardstick to judge a man instead of skin color.
Perhaps you've never heard of Edmund Winston Pettus, a Civil War General, U.S. Senator, and in 1877, the Grand Dragon of the Alabama Ku Klux Klan. But you know his bridge.
What a terrible irony that in this year of celebration of the Selma marches we are witnessing the resurgence of overt law enforcement brutality and injustice in Ferguson, Cleveland, New York City, and elsewhere, reminding us how far we still have to go. The continuing protests against unequal justice under the law by those enjoined to protect all of us and all of our children after the deaths of teenager Michael Brown, 12-year-old Tamir Rice, and others are a wake-up call about the deeply embedded systemic racism still alive in America. Each of us has a responsibility to root it out and stop it in its tracks.
I will be among the thousands of people traveling to Selma to commemorate the sacrifices of 50 years ago and to recommit to the struggle for equal rights today. For it would be a grave mistake to believe that the struggle is over.