Celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., 13 November 1964" by Duke University Archives is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Today we celebrate and honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. As our country and the world continues to strive for equality Dr. King’s message remains a beacon in the fight for justice and racial equity. The injustices and discrimination he spoke of in his famous “I Have a Dream” speech are as relevant today as they were nearly six decades ago. And his message of hope continues to rouse and strengthen the resolve of many to persevere in building a more equitable, peaceful, and just world.

I was fortunate enough five years ago to attend a keynote address by Ruby Bridges Hall at the National Association for the Education of Young Children conference. She spoke about being the first Black student to attend William Frantz Public school in New Orleans, Louisiana. At the age of six, she was one of the youngest children in the first wave of desegregation during the civil rights movement. Ms. Bridges Hall talked about the impact both Dr. King and teachers had on her life. One quote attributed to her that has always stuck with me is, “There are all kinds of monuments to adults – usually dead and usually white. But we don’t often lift up the extraordinary work of children.” In her keynote, she pushed the audience of educators to think deeply about how their own work and experience influences the lives of children of color and how the work of Dr. King can be brought into their classrooms.

As a society, we still have a long way to go in advancing equity and supporting the safety and well-being of each child. Today, Committee for Children is taking Ms. Bridges Hall’s message to heart and thinking deeply about how our work and the experiences of our staff can positively impact the lives of Black, Indigenous, and children of color now and in the future. As Committee for Children moves forward in our diversity, equity, and inclusion journey, we may stumble along the way, but we will remain devoted to continuing this necessary work—continuously improving our ability to provide culturally relevant and affirming social-emotional learning and growing to reflect the diverse populations we serve.

Best wishes,

Andrea Lovanhill |  Chief Executive Officer

Committee for Children