He was born January 15th, 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia. He was the middle child of a Baptist preacher and named after his father and in honor of a German Protestant religious leader. He marched for civil rights, challenged the disparate housing standards of Black people, and had a dream of racial equality.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave aspirations to the hopeless and in reverence of his day we are reminded of why we fight for fair housing. We are reminded of why we seek justice for our neighbor and continue to be discontent with the state of segregation in our nation.
Fair housing advocates are often told that racial discrimination is no longer an issue or that other problems take precedence. How can we focus on other issues if the access to shelter, to education, to community, and to opportunity is not equal? An advantageous quality of life is still obstructed from some individuals that are different only in the color of their skin.
If you are not a participant of the fair housing movement, I challenge you to reflect on why you choose to ignore the harsh realities of our institutions. Question why you take for granted the benefits of an integrated society and remember that as members of mankind, it is every person’s right to be treated equally and with respect.
Regardless of your role in your community, you have the power to affirmatively further fair housing. Whether it’s creating a diversity statement for your jurisdiction, renting to a person regardless of their ethnicity, or speaking against racist dialogue within your network of people, you are bringing us one step closer to an integrated society.
Diversity is not a burden. It is a means to broaden your worldview, strengthen your foundation, inspire creativity, stimulate vibrant neighborhoods, and invest in the future.
“Let us be dissatisfied until integration is not seen as a problem, but as an opportunity to participate in the beauty of diversity.”
-Martin Luther King, Jr.
By Morgan P. Davis, Fair Housing Policy Director