“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Happy #MartinLutherKingDay! This year, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day seems to have a special significance. If we look back on the accomplishments that Dr. King and those like him have helped to take the country, it is easy to see the impact of his fight for civil rights. However, if we look more critically at just what his vision and goals were, we can see how much more work needs to be done and how far we have yet to come.
In 2016 and now 2017, it can be easy to showcase the great strides that have been made since Dr. King became a prominent civil rights leader. His dream of a country that has come together for the well-being of every race and culture are ideas that many support. On this day that commemorates his dream and work, it is essential that we look to ourselves and ask, “How can we continue to make our nation inclusive for all?”
Despite all the positive changes that have occurred, we must also look at the problems and injustices that are still very prevalent today.
1) Speak up & speak out.
Like Dr. King understood, it takes the voices and actions of individuals to speak out against, prevent, and combat social injustices. This kind of courage is not easy to muster, but, as you explore colleges you can identify institutions, like Wheelock College, that promote social justice. Once you’ve matriculated you can find ways to get involved in clubs or events that promote civil and human rights. Best Colleges Online.Com created a list of the top 20 colleges for socially-conscious students. Once you check out the list you can explore & connect with each college on Mobile University College Search Pro!
2) Educate yourself. Educate others.
Dr. King’s work was not in vain. He and many others worked hard to advocate for basic civil and human rights. He promoted non-violence and encouraged voting for historically disenfranchised populations. When you begin college, make a vow to get involved and educate others. Join a club or organization that promotes civil and human rights. Protest. Learn about the mistakes of our past and identify ways to make a brighter future for everyone.
3) Practice understanding and share.
Dr. King endured threats and actions of violence, discrimination and other obstacles all while preaching the use of non-violent protests and forgiveness. I think we can all remember Michelle Obama’s famous quote of 2016, “When they go low, we go high”. Like Dr. King, we should all go high. By making a conscious effort to understand differences and celebrate cultural identity, we can all be more like Dr. King. Think of a time when you acted in love and understanding, rather than ignorance and pride. Write about these moments in your college essay when you took a non-violent stand for human rights. Colleges are not just looking for intelligent and hard-working students, they want good people. They want positive change makers and kind roommates to fill their residential halls.
While Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a time for remembrance and education, it is also a day to put into practice the goals he spoke so passionately about. It is a day to be selfless, and to take a step back from personal problems to try and reach others who may be suffering. In such a diverse and complex world, Martin Luther King Jr. Day is one in which we should strive to “practice what we preach” and actively be the change he spoke and dreamt of making a reality.
About the Author: Alaina King is the Social Media Goddess for Mobile University’s App Suite. She’s from Ithaca, NY and loves spending time outdoors in Ithaca’s “gorges” state parks or traveling to National Parks with her sister! Alaina received her BA from the University at Buffalo and is preparing to attend graduate school soon.
About the Author: Talyse Hampton is the VP of Sales & Marketing for Leverage Applications. She believes in the power of educational attainment. Follow her on Twitter to talk more about marketing, education, theatre, and female empowerment.