Washington, D.C. – In observance of the upcoming holiday devoted to the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., members of the Project 21 black leadership network are available for interviews regarding Dr. King, how his teachings have shaped the nation and how people have acted – positively and negatively – in his name.
“Dr. King’s embodiment of bravery, courage and unity remains a call to action in our neighborhoods and communities. We must continue to reference his life as a catalyst for racial harmony and justice,” Project 21 member Demetrius Minor said. “We’ve come a long way since Dr. King imparted his dream to the world, and it is still incumbent upon us to continue making that dream a reality.”
Project 21 members criticized leftists who have misinterpreted or co-opted Dr. King’s inclusive and colorblind ideas to advance their political agenda.
“Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s powerful messages continue to offer us deep insights and wisdom about the ideals we should strive for as we grapple with complex issues like race and social class,” said Project 21 member Dr. Carol Swain. “While speaking at Southern Methodist University on March 17, 1966, Dr. King rejected communism’s end-justifies-the-means approach for addressing inequalities. ‘Destructive means,’ King said, ‘cannot bring about constructive ends.’ If only we would apply Dr. King’s wisdom to current day problems.”
“As we reflect on the work of Dr. King, we cannot ignore the ‘I have a dream’ portion of his famous March on Washington speech. Sadly, the Colin Kaepernicks and Black Lives Matter organizations of this world have ignored it as they invoke Dr. King’s words to promote racial division – as if we have yet to move on from the segregation of the day,” added Project 21 member Melanie Collette. “Dr. King’s message was that of unity, not to separate ourselves from each other. In the same speech, Dr. King encouraged us not to allow our fight to ‘lead us to distrust all white people.’ Instead, he wanted us to understand that our white brothers ‘realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny… their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.'”
“As we celebrate the life and accomplishments of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I am convinced he would look favorably on the gains made by black Americans during the Trump Administration,” said Project 21 member Donna Jackson. “Today, we have record-low unemployment, prison reform, greater faith-based outreach and permanent funding for historically black colleges and universities. Dr. King was a strong advocate for the economic and social advancement of black people. These goals are now being realized.”
Dr. King was born on January 15, 1929. The federal holiday created for him that commemorates his birthday falls under the “Uniform Monday Holiday Act,” which sets the observance for the third Monday of every January. It was created in 1983. At the ceremony where the bill designating the holiday was signed into law, President Ronald Reagan said Dr. King “stirred our nation to the very depths of its soul.”
Project 21 created the “Blueprint for a Better Deal for Black America” to help remove the remaining barriers to empowerment and ensure equal opportunity for black Americans to attain the American Dream. The Blueprint’s 57 policy recommendations address issues including police-community relations, employment, immigration, education and revitalizing the black church. A second edition containing dozens of new recommendations is currently in development and will be released later this year.
To schedule an interview with a member of Project 21 about this issue, contact Judy Kent at (703) 759-0269.
Project 21, a leading voice of black conservatives for over 25 years, is sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research. Its members have been quoted, interviewed or published over 40,000 times since the program was created in 1992. Contributions to the National Center are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated, and may be earmarked exclusively for the use of Project 21.
Founded in 1982, the National Center for Public Policy Research is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from some 60,000 individuals, less than four percent from foundations and less than two percent from corporations. Sign up for email updates here.
Follow Project 21 on Twitter at @Project21News for general announcements. To be alerted to upcoming media appearances by Project 21 members, follow our media appearances Twitter account at @NCPPRMedia.
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