Martin Luther King Jr.

Who was Martin Luther King Jr.?

Martin Luther King Jr. was a minister and advocate for African-American's rights. Using non-violent methods, based on the teachings of Gandhi, King was a driving force in the Civil Rights Movement. Through organized boycotts, marches, and speeches, such as the famous Montgomery Bus Boycott, and the "I Have a Dream" Speech, King was able to achieve more rights for African-American people.  He fought against segregation and racism.  Now, we commemorate his life's work by celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

What did he have to say about the government?

King also spoke out against war. To quote him, "A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom."

What does this mean?
It means that our elected government officials need to be putting more money into programs to help the poor and needy and less into the military.  It means that our government needs to be funding programs that help educate our young and less into the military. It means that our government needs to put more money into programs that help to provide health care for all the people of the United States of America, and less into the military.

In this time of economic crisis, with people without jobs, homes, savings, etc., it is vital that our government take money out of the military budget and put that money into programs to find jobs for the unemployed, find homes for the homeless, find insurance for the uninsured, etc.

How is Barack Obama helping to fulfill Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream?

1. Barack Obama, will be the first African-American president of the United States. This is monumental. He fought much racism to achieve this goal. This fulfills part of Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream that African-American people and white people would be treated equally.
2. Obama is for peace. He has a plan for withdrawing the troops from Iraq and stabilizing the region. He has advocated negotiating with adversaries.
3. Obama will be funding programs to help the citizens of the US through our economic crisis. He will also be creating long term programs to improve the education and health care systems.

What can young people do to fulfill Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream?

Young people can volunteer on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, as this day is not just a holiday from school, but a day to advance social justice in our community. Of course, volunteering should not be a one-day event. Dedicated young people can volunteer all year, at organizations whose causes they feel strongly about. Volunteer activities in Bloomington include, working at the Hoosier Hills Food Bank Warehouse,  working for the Animal Shelter, volunteering at local nursing homes, and volunteering at Wonderlab.