The King Center in Atlanta celebrated the life and work of Martin Luther King Junior Monday. The Reverend Samuel Rodriguez delivered the keynote speech. He is the president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference. And he says King’s civil rights work is not yet finished.
“Silence is not an option when 30 million of our brothers and sisters live in poverty. Silence is not an option when 11 million undocumented individuals continue to live in the shadows. By the way they are not illegal. Anyone made in the image of God can not be called illegal. ” he said.
Jovanay Carter , a high school student at the Coretta Scott King Young Women’s Leadership Academy, told the crowd the civil rights movement has changed her life.
“As a young black girl, I do not have to be humiliated by signs that say ‘For Colored Only’. As a young black girl, I do not have to attend a school in a shoddy facility, with broken equipment and hand-me-down materials.”she said.
Several speakers said Barack Obama would never have become president if not for the civil rights movement King helped lead.
King Center CEO Bernice King says her father’s work is still unfinished.
She said "The same struggle and fight that he was addressing before he was assassinated is the same struggle and fight today. For indeed, we must address poverty in America.”
King says the country needs to address how wealth is distributed. She says society should be about people, not the things we can accumulate.