In recognition of Black History Month, I’d like to share a story. On Aug. 28, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave a speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. More than 250,000 civil rights supporters listened to the iconic speech.
Dr. King was not prepared to share or talk about his dream that day. Mahalia Jackson, the famous gospel singer, urged Dr. King to share his dream. Seated on the podium behind Dr. King, Mahalia yelled, “Tell them about the dream, Martin!” The dream he shared was that all people — of all races, colors, creeds and backgrounds — have the opportunity to share in the American dream of freedom and democracy.
At Interfaith our dream is “to build a vibrant community where everyone counts and all sectors and systems work together for the good of all.” Last year we were tested by the onset of COVID-19. We responded by welcoming 820 families to our doors for the first time in 2020, with over 10,000 food shelf visits and more than 1,000 youth receiving at-home support services to help with learning and healthy development.
Our response was our attempt at helping those in need realize the dream. Together with donors, supporters and partners, everyone counted and the system worked for the good of all. Love became a verb and was put in action.
“Let us live together in peace and love in a beloved community.” -Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.