Today we are honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King. How to best honor that legacy remains a burning question for people of conscience committed to social justice. We believe Dr. King’s own words offer the best guidance, especially those towards the end of his short life where he calls for a transformational compassion. In his 1967 speech Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence at Riverside Church, Dr. King boldly recognizes that:
One day we must come to see that the whole Jericho road must be transformed so that men and women will not be constantly beaten and robbed as they make their journey on life’s highway. True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it is not haphazard and superficial. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring.
True compassion requires us to move beyond superficial change and address the edifice upon which inequity is built in our country. And this moment in particular, with our democracy in peril, our institutions and climate in crisis, and our economy producing brutal working and living conditions, requires a national dialogue about how to create that deeper change.
Together with our allies, we are sharing our call for such a dialogue in honor of Dr. King’s legacy. We also enthusiastically announce our 2019-2020 New Social Contract tour in partnership with Rights and Democracy, and with the participation and leadership of Working Families Party, Our Revolution, Center for Popular Democracy, Race Forward, People’s Action and Black Women’s Blueprint. We need a new social contract for our country rooted in compassion. We must begin with dialogue to reclaim our rightful power to take care of our ourselves, our earth and each other. Then we must move from dialogue to action, in order to step up to the historic challenge we face without delay.
Please join us and sign our call for a new social contract here, lending your voice to creating a new and just future.