Over at Insight News, AARP CEO A. Barry Rand and the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation use the opening of the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial as an opportunity to reflect upon King’s relevance today.
Rand reminds us that the path to justice requires “not only overcoming prejudice but also overcoming poverty.” According to Rand, this is especially true for African-American seniors:
The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies has found that for two in five households of retired African-Americans 65 and older who receive Social Security retirement benefits, these monthly checks are the sole source of income.
This sharp drop in assets and continued heavy reliance on Social Security shows how critical it is to protect and strengthen Social Security and Medicare.
As AARP gears up for the next round of this battle in Washington, we’re reminded of something else that Dr. King said, “Change does not come on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle.”
That was true in the days of segregation. It was true in the fight for voting rights. It is just as true today when it comes to health care and retirement security and, indeed, all the efforts to assist those who are vulnerable.
The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation reminds us that King’s dream has yet to be fully realized by African-Americans, who continue to be disproportionately impacted by poverty and unemployment. Committed to King’s principles, CBCF is devoted to “developing leaders, informing policy and educating the public”:
Our goal is to continue to carry his message and the torch to increase the presence of African Americans on Capitol Hill, in corporate boardrooms and in nonprofit and grassroots organizations alike and to end national and global disparities in employment, health and in other areas.
Committed to developing tomorrow’s leaders, we will honor Dr. King’s legacy by “continuing to march” under the banner iLead|iServe at this year’s Annual Legislative Conference and challenge Americans to join in our work to lead and serve in their homes, communities and on a national level.
For further reflection on King’s Legacy, check out this interview with Martin Luther King III (King’s son).