Today Advancement Project honors the legacy of civil rights icon, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Alongside other leaders of the Civil Rights Movement, King worked peacefully to dismantle the pillars of discrimination that denied African Americans their natural-born civil rights – to vote, to assemble, and to live in freedom and equality.
“Through his monumental efforts, Dr. King – along with many others including Dorothy Height, Bayard Rustin, Fred Shuttlesworth and Daisy Bates – transformed our world for the better, advancing the foundational American value that all are created equal,” said Advancement Project Co-Director Judith Browne Dianis. “While we live in the more peaceful nation that Dr. King tirelessly helped to create, today we still struggle with the scourge of racism, discrimination and assaults on the right to vote. Just last year, a key provision of the landmark civil rights legislation that Dr. King championed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, was gutted by the U.S. Supreme Court. In the wake of that Supreme Court decision, which ended federal pre-approval of voting changes in key states, many state legislatures have rammed through bills making it harder to vote. These laws seek to undo Dr. King’s efforts, but communities across the country continue the work of ensuring that all citizens have equal opportunities to participate in our democracy.”
“At Advancement Project, along with our state partners, we are committed to continuing the path of progress that Dr. King and others paved before us,” said Advancement Project Co-Director Penda D. Hair. “Every day we draw from their blueprint of success, using the power of grassroots organizing, community education and litigation to ensure that our nation lives up to the revolutionary ideals on which it was founded. As Dr. King once said: ‘Voting is the foundation stone for all political action.’ And so we press on, as he did, to eliminate barriers to voting in the hopes of achieving a just democracy in which all voices can be heard, and where our nation’s rights and freedoms cover all Americans.”