Commemorating Martin Luther King Day

This year for some reason I’m drawn to the lunar eclipse, the so called “super blood wolf moon”.  This is occurring on the eve of our country’s 2019 annual commemoration of the Dr. Martin Luther King Junior holiday. Not surprisingly, it’s cloudy here in the Pacific Northwest and the ability to see the spectacle is periodically obscured. I guess there’s something intriguing about bearing witness to these uncommon moments.

Growing up in the 60’s I was aware of uncommon times. The country was amidst an awakening that brought hope that it might become all that our founding documents stated it was. These were the days of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his team of leaders who decided it was long past time for racial injustice to be faced head on.

Today, we are amidst more uncertain and disturbing times. These days give us pause as it seems that while much has changed so rapidly, the most important things have not changed at all.

In Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community? Dr. King shares this perspective:

“One of the great liabilities of history is that all too many people fail to remain awake through great periods of social change. Every society has its protectors of the status quo and its fraternities of the indifferent who are notorious for sleeping through revolutions. But today our very survival depends on our ability to stay awake, to adjust to new ideas, to remain vigilant and to face the challenge of change. The large house in which we live demands that we transform this worldwide neighborhood into a worldwide brotherhood. Together we must learn to live as brothers or together we will be forced to perish as fools.”

As HDC begins this 31st year of work to collectively ensure access to quality and affordable housing accessible for everyone in Martin Luther King, Jr. County, we must evolve, not just in how we approach scaling our work, but how we confront the institutional and structural racism the perpetuates the inequities of our time.

Marty Kooistra, Executive Director