Marking Martin Luther King Day

…succinctly but powerfully noting MLK as a personal hero and how upset he was at 24 by King’s brutal assassination, NME Coordinator Peter DG Brown wrote colleagues reminding us to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday in some fashion. For so many of us who remember, 1968 will always be the year of assassinations that shook us to the core. The powerful film Selma, which focuses on a key period in MLK’s heroic struggle for equality, justice and civil rights, reminds us of the victories.

Dan Cantor, Working Families, an NME supporting organization, wrote this letter relating KIng’s legacy to the present:

❝On this anniversary of his birth, with Ferguson and Staten Island on our minds, one is reminded of how Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. articulated the deep connections between racial and economic justice. He once famously said, “What does it profit a man to be able to eat at an integrated lunch counter if he doesn’t earn enough money to buy a hamburger and a cup of coffee?”

At Working Families, we remain inspired by King’s vision of a country in which racial justice includes economic gains, in which economic policy is informed by an unblinking look at our history.  On this day, I encourage you to take a look at two articles that honor both the spirit and ideas of Dr. King.

The Racial Housing Practices that Built Ferguson by Ta-Nehisi Coates 
– Coates revisits the legacy of redlining, housing covenants and blockbusting and how those policies changed the landscape of our cities and suburbs, including in and around St. Louis.

We’ll Need an Economic Program to Make #BlackLivesMatter. Here are 3 Ideas by Jesse A Myerson and Mychal Denzel Smith – An excellent thought-piece on how and why the #BlackLivesMatter movement should also put forward an economic program.

Thank you, and here’s to the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Dan Cantor, National Director, Working Families


About @NatM4Equity

The National Mobilization for Equity is a coalition of organizations committed to alleviating the present staffing crisis in higher education: three-quarters of the teaching jobs in American colleges are held by underpaid, precarious and poorly-supported contingent faculty. Our long-term goal is to end contingency as the norm. The current untenable situation not only adversely affects all faculty members, both contingent and tenure-track, it also negatively impacts our profession, our students and the quality of their education.

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