The issue of decent housing is more than the quality of the physical dwelling people live in, but also the surrounding community. In modern America, we are impacted by a legacy of housing policies that affect government funding for schools, community development, quality of life, economic access or wealth, and more.
The United States has roughly 70 million Americans who have been convicted of a misdemeanor or a felony. Of course with each conviction, all crimes are different, however regardless of how non-threatening the crime is, these Americans are significantly disadvantaged.
In 1968, Dr. King came to Memphis, to help with the Sanitation Workers Strike. The Memphis garbage collectors were underpaid, overworked, and didn't have proper uniforms or working equipment. Their wages were so low that even though they worked full time, they still qualified for welfare.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, "Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek but a means by which we arrive at that goal." King's philosophy reveals that we achieve the goal of peace through nonviolence.
At some point in their lives, most people will be in the position of seeking employment. Whether a high school or college graduate looking for part-time employment or internship, or an experienced worker embarking on a new career, candidates will likely have resume questions including: What should I have in my resume? How should I format it? What skills should I list? Does the objective really matter? Should I include a cover letter? What length should my resume be?
Mass incarceration is a major civil rights issue. A primary reason for the surge in the American prison population is the federal law mandating minimum sentencing. Individuals who meet certain stipulations of the law are required to serve a minimum sentence.
According to the Urban Institute, "Many households struggle to afford a decent, safe place to live. Since 2000, rent has risen as the number of renters needing affordable housing has increased.
Think about it. There has been at least one teacher who greatly impacted your life, right? Most of us can recall our favorite teachers because of the way they positively motivated, encouraged and pushed us to reach our potential.
In the fight for economic equity, the gender pay gap - the difference between how much men and women are paid - is a key issue.
In the past several weeks, the history of the Confederate States of America and its icons have been the center of attention nationwide.
For decades, education advocates have called for reform in our country's education system. Since the early 1980s, the challenge to rethink the model has been brewing, giving prominence to changes in the ecosystem of educational options.
A recent article from Student Loan Hero revealed that the average 2016 college graduates are $37,172 in debt. With student loan debt well into the trillions, many new professional are victims of garnished wages and income taxes.
Let's be honest. The term "blight" has been appropriated to mean the condition of urban, substandard housing in communities of mostly black or brown people who apparently don't care about changing the dismal conditions in which they live.
What is the best way to create effective change, civil disobedience or armed struggle? Like Gandhi, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. used civil disobedience as as a means of effectuating government change on policies and laws that permitted racism, injustice and inequality.
Sixty years since Dr. King made that statement, this nation is still urging its elected officials to make the ballot more accessible. It would be another eight years after this speech, that the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965 was passed, with an important pre-clearance provision to regulate Southern states that had notoriously implemented Jim Crow laws designed to thwart attempts and violently intimidate or kill African Americans looking to register to vote.
Across the country, the new school year is quickly approaching. Every year, many parents have waded through the complex issue of school choice to enroll their children in the best schools possible. This week Museum President Terri Lee Freeman discusses school choice.
In 1961, Dr. King delivered a speech to the AFL-CIO's fourth constitutional convention. He acknowledged racism within the labor movement, but also brought to the audience 's attention that the goals of the labor movement and th e civil rights movement overlap.
In the years since Dr. King's death, the face of American poverty has
changed. The rates of poverty in suburban America have been rapidly growing. From 2000 - 2015, the suburbs accounted for nearly half of the national poverty increase in the United States.
In Dr. King's notes about the Chicago Campaign he said, "It is reasonable to believe that if the problems of Chicago, the nation's second largest city, can be solved, they can be solved everywhere."
In Week Two, we learned that peace is far more than the absence of war and violence, but that it is a deliberate commitment to love and compassion through action. Nonviolent action is the weapon Dr. King used in his during the Civil Rights Movement by leading several peaceful demonstrations.
Fifty-Four years ago this week, NAACP Field Secretary Medgar Evers was assassinated in the driveway of his home in Jackson, MS. Two trials of Evers' assassin, Byron De La Beckwith, ended in hung juries in 1964. Beckwith was convicted of the murder in 1994, thirty years later.
Quality education has been a long established value in the civil rights movement.
Ruby Bridges, with new friends, a few months into her attendance at William Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans. (Image: Alan Wieder Collection)
As early as the nineteenth century there have been cases of families challenging education inequity in their communities.
On August 28, 1963 thousands of people gathered at the Lincoln Memorial for the March on Washington. Although the march would later become known for Dr. King's famous "I Have a Dream" speech, the rallying cry that brought the crowds to Washington, DC was jobs and freedom.
In 1967, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. launched a new phase of the Civil Rights Movement focused on economic justice. While the Movement had won victories in desegregation and voting rights, King said it had done little to vanquish poverty.
Dr. King's Beloved Community is a global vision, in which all people can share in the wealth of the earth. In the Beloved Community, poverty, hunger and homelessness will not be tolerated because international standards of human decency will not allow it.
From a Birmingham jail, Dr. King once wrote, " Law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice, and when they fail in this purpose, they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress." Today we see a dysfunctional system where justice is not always blind, and in some cases, it is in direct contradiction of the First Amendment statutes it purports.
At the National Civil Rights Museum, we have discussed the definition of peace. While it is hard to define, we realize that peace is more than the absence of war and violence.
Welcome to 50 Weeks of Actions! You have pledged to join us in improving our communities through peace and direct action.