Dear Campus Library Colleagues,
In anticipation of the upcoming federal holiday commemorating the life and work of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the Social Justice Team would like to take the opportunity to highlight some aspects of King’s philosophy, work and legacy that have perhaps been under-discussed. King’s writings and speeches often focused on crucial questions about fairness, social justice, and how to hold ourselves to the highest standards of morality. While King’s work on desegregation, voting rights, and combating racial injustice, along with his famous “I Have a Dream” speech are what most people will readily recall, it’s important to consider that he spent the last few years of his life applying those crucial moral questions to a wide-ranging gamut of important and intersecting issues that including labor rights, the War in Vietnam and the ethics of American militarism around the world, redlining and other forms of housing discrimination and environmental racism beyond the South, as well as poverty and economic injustice. Though less frequently discussed, this later work is just as important to his legacy and, you may notice, concerns issues we are still urgently grappling with, 50 years after his death.
Martin Luther King’s commitment and sacrifice on these fronts, along with the countless dedicated people who worked, planned, marched and demonstrated with him, has directly inspired and motivated the continued commitment of citizens working toward a fairer, more equitable and more just society and we will be forever indebted. Therefore, the Social Justice Team would like to encourage those in the Library to seek out ways to be engaged with the lasting legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. this coming holiday weekend. For some ideas on how, please see the resources below:
Get involved with the MLK Day of Service projects happening all around the area:
UWB/CC Achieving Community Transformation service project
The Stranger’s features on MLK weekend events
A Similar list from UW-Seattle
Martin Luther King, Jr. National Day of Service
For Inspiration and Education:
A YouTube Playlist Featuring Many of King’s Speeches Over the Years
Citizen King: PBS’s Excellent Documentary on the last 5 years of King’s Life
If you are interested in reading more about King’s later work on intersectional social justice issues, here are a few selected materials:
Where do we go from here: chaos or community?
When Martin Luther King Came Out Against Vietnam
A new book from a UW-Tacoma professor on King’s economically progressive message
The Social Justice Team welcomes feedback and ideas from Campus Library staff with our feedback form that can be filled out anonymously.
The Social Justice Team