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A Call to Service: Making the Dream a Reality

January 21, 2020
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Dr. Bernice King

At College Forward, in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we make it a day on— not a day off. It is a time designated for all to improve their communities. By serving others in all ways, no matter how big or small, we are making change. Through each act, we are contributing to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Legacy. When you give to a cause larger than yourself, you foster equality and work to break down the social barriers that have been created and affect many still to this day.

 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was born in Atlanta, Georgia, on January 15th, 1929. Martin obtained a baccalaureate degree in sociology and a doctorate in systematic theology. He spent his life dedicated to the progression of the civil rights movement and the equality of those who faced civil injustices. Dr. King Jr. played a huge role in the organization of the Montgomery Bus Boycott. His approach to combating the injustices of racism was through nonviolent resistance and civil disobedience, much like his influence Gandhi.

 During his lifetime, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1963 and witnessed landmarks in legislation such as the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act of 1964. On April 4th, 1968, Dr. King was slain while in Memphis, Tennessee. Although his life ended that day, the work that he had accomplished changed the nation. King is remembered not only for his commitment to the movement but also for his famous and unforgettable speeches that moved so many.

Regina Pineda, current College Success Coach with her AmeriCorps NCCC team at the 2017 Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Tribute

Three years ago, I was invited by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs to attend The State of Georgia’s 32nd Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Tribute at the Georgia State Capitol.

At the event, I had the absolute honor and privilege of meeting Dr. Bernice A. King, daughter of Martin Luther King, Jr. and heard remarks of other well-known social activist leaders. This experience is one I will forever let lead me into striving to be the voice for the voiceless, a reaffirmation to the call of service, a dedication to making the reality of Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream. “We must learn to live together as brothers, or we will all perish together as fools,” said Dr. Bernice King, quoting her father

I serve because it is who I am and the way of how I want to live my life. If I could be a professional volunteer, I would do it in a heartbeat! Growing up, my family struggled financially, but we were always so well taken care of by the love of others. I can never financially pay back those who have helped me, but I can pay it forward through service to others.

As long as I am able, I will always serve.

 “Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

In the great words of our leader, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘what are you doing for others?’”

How will you be the change you wish to see in this world?

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