But as the earthquake last week devastated Haiti, the conversation and coverage pointed beyond the crumbling infrastructure to the response and we are reminded of the widespread poverty, illiteracy, lack of education and economic resources felt by our black brothers and sisters across the water. Similarly, when Hurricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans, the images brought many of us to our knees. Poverty has a face and for too many people in our communities and in our world, the face is black.
I believe these dark situations can change with our action. As King said in one of his notable addresses, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” Natural disasters such as the one’s in Haiti or New Orleans challenges us to take action for social justice for people of color, to take action to improve the education of our people, and to take action to close the troubling and embarrassing racial economic gaps. Our action and spirit of service is the only “light” that can make this change.
So go out and let your light shine through the service you render. Shine your light by donating to the Haiti relief effort. Shine your light by joining the Urban League movement and participating in a Gateway to Opportunity solutions team. Shine your light by taking action today and recommitting to King’s Dream of service and economic parity.
As the celebration season commences for Dr. Martin Luther King and black history month, we should all challenge ourselves to strive not for fame but take action for great service. King said, “Everyone has the power for greatness—not for fame, but greatness, because greatness is determined by service."