On this day, as we celebrate the birthday and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., we are reminded of the strengths and weaknesses of our nation that still exist. I am deeply touched by all the accomplishments we have made thus far to ensure "freedom rings". I am also deeply proud of the progress Washington State is making. In 2015 I had the wonderful opportunity of being a part of the Hate Won’t Win Challenge, a campaign started by Alana Simmons, the granddaughter of a victim killed in the Charleston church massacre. I chose not to call this a challenge, but a Movement, as it reached across America, state-by-state, even to the White House, moving leaders and individuals in the community to spread the message that Hate Won’t Win.
We've seen the rising of the Black Lives Matters Movement bring inequalities of our criminal justice system to the forefront, bringing healing and support to the African American communities that felt they were long forgotten. Important new conversations have begun, and we’ve witnessed events such as the removal of the confederate flag in South Carolina, a long standing symbol of hate. Today I watched proudly as many rallied in Seattle and Olympia about the changes they want to see in our country and in our nation. We are bringing about awareness of the equality that should exist in Justice for All.
Tonight as we sit and have conversations over the dinner table, I hope the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.. and what has become the dream for many, is brought to life by his memory.
Speaking with community members I know we have a long road ahead, as many still choose not to acknowledge we have work to do. We can not forget we have taken a stance for not only our generation, but generations to come, and we should be proud.