Honoring a Movement

 

January 20th, 2014 marks the 28th celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a holiday intend to commemorate a visionary of the Civil Rights movement who lived and breathed Thomas Jefferson’s axiom that “all men were created equal.” Not too many people need a history lesson to know that this was not the case when the United States was established in 1776, and did not ring true until 1964 when the Civil Rights Act made major discrimination based on sex, race, ethnic origin, nationality and/or religion illegal. By the way, It took many legal reforms and a LONG time before many states enforced these requirements.

Currently, inequality is just called by a different name and wears a different mask. Examples? Look at LGBTQ+ people still protesting for the right to love who they love in Texas and Utah after the Supreme Court declared it unlawful to deny marital benefits to same sex couples; or look at the mandatory requirement for any person charged with a misdemeanor or a felony to relinquish this information to any and all applications for jobs, housing, welfare benefits; or people living on the streets who are treated as foreigners in their own hometowns. Are these people created equal?

I digress. Point being, there is still much work to be done before society sees each person for their intrinsic value as human beings.

It has been 45 years since Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in 1968, and though the celebration of his life was signed in to law in 1983 (to take effect in 1986), it was not until 1999 that all states celebrated the holiday. Yeah folks, just 15 years ago not every state found it IMPORTANT to recognize and honor the life of a man that lived and breathed equality and justice. A bit befuddling. Martin Luther King was amongst many others who have worked and continued to work toward social change; Cesar Chavez, Susan B. Anthony, Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, Harvey Milk, and Malcolm X to name a few. If any of these names are not recognizable, stop by the Chico Peace & Justice Center at 526 Broadway, downtown Chico to get the low-down of social change. I promise they don’t bite.

So, it is Monday, January 20th. If you work for the state or go to school or have a half decent job, you have the day off to commemorate the man who this day is intend to honor. You could

A) Stay home and watch movies.

B) Spend some time doing something for others, as the namesake of this day would have done most days.

C) Stop by the Chico Peace & Justice Center.

D) Go to Sacramento for the 33rd Annual Capitol March for the Dream, joining the 28,000 others that will be there, which would surely be enlightening. (Want more info? Go to http://www.mlk365.org or call 916-698-5147)

E) Go to our local events commemorating King.

If you choose B) and want to follow in the footsteps of Martin Luther King Jr., Here are some worthy organizations to volunteer for on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, or any other day of the year!

Torres Community Shelter 

Helping to provide shelter to the house-less

101 Silver Dollar Way, Chico, CA 95928

(530) 891-9048

chicoshelter.org 

Jesus Center 

Providing of Myriad of Services including 3 meals a day, showers, computers and more.

1297 Park Avenue, Chico, Ca, 95928

530.345-2640

fax 530.345-2449

jesuscenter.org 

Chico Peace & Justice Center 

Educating, Motivating, and Mobilizing the community about social justice

526 Broadway, Chico, Ca, 95928

530-893-9078

chico-peace.org 

Catalyst Domestic Violence Services 

Serves the needs of all victims of domestic violence and their children regardless of ethnicity, citizenship, language, religion, physical disabilities, sexual orientation, gender identity or HIV status.

Administrative Office & Drop-In Center

330 Wall Street, Suite 50

Chico, CA 95928

(530) 343-7711

Starting Over Strong 

Empowering formerly incarcerated people by helping them acquire knowledge and connection to services to participate in their community by obtaining meaningful employment.

Expungement Workshop:

Tuesday, January 28, 2014 6:00pm

California State University

400 W. 2nd Street

Chico, CA 95928

Bell Memorial Union (BMU) building: room # to be announced

StartingOverStudents@gmail.com 

Sharon (530) 570-4863

In the words of Martin Luther King Jr. “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?”

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