"Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable. Even a superficial look at history reveals that no social advance rolls in on the wheels inevitability. Every step towards the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals. Without persistent effort, time itself becomes an ally of the insurgent and primitive forces of irrational emotionalism and social destruction. This is no time for apathy or complacency. This is a time for vigorous and positive action."

—Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story Chapter XI: Where Do We Go From Here?

Reflection on the Quotation

by Kerron Norman, vice president and chief program officer at Alliance for Strong Families and Communities member ANDRUS in Yonkers, New York

Today, on the day marked for the national remembrance for the work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his visionary leadership, I am compelled to consider whether I am involved enough in actualizing the belief in the inherent dignity of all people. Inequality is the defining challenge of humanity. Addressing inequality must become at the center of everything I do. Persistent effort for social justice requires that I resist indifference and thoughts that this is as good as things will get.

Dr. King’s The Montgomery Story reminds me that social justice certainly does begin in every home. I will commit to using my voice, getting my children, friends and family members involved. I will stay informed and educated about equity issues and human rights. I will remain involved when it’s hard, when it is frightening, when it is inconvenient, and when, especially, it hurts.

I will lean on a leadership lesson from Sharon Daloz Parks in Leadership Can Be Taught—“Those who practice leadership for equity must confront, disappoint, and dismantle and at the same time energize, inspire, and empower.”

Join Efforts to Advance Equity

The Alliance for Strong Families and Communities offers several opportunities to build leadership skills and organizational capacity to advance equity: