Monday, January 19, 2009

I Have a Dream…

How far we have come since that day On December 1, 1955 when Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a bus in compliance with the Jim Crow laws that required black people to sit at the back of a bus and give up their seats to any white person requesting it. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke out against segregation and urged the people of Montgomery to Boycott the buses. That boycott ended in the United States District Court ruling in Browder v. Gayle that ultimately ended racial segregation in Montgomery, Alabama.

Today, January 19th, is the day the nation observes the birthday of Rev. King. He is remembered for his famous "I Have a Dream" speech, given in front of the Lincoln Memorial during the 1963 March on Washington. He said in that speech "I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.'" King’s assassination in Memphis on April 4, 1968 focused the civil rights movement and moved American’s to take more action against discrimination.

It seems fitting that Barack Obama, our first African-American president, will be sworn in tomorrow, Janaury 20th, in front of that same monument. According to National Public Radio, Barack Obama will enter the office of president with the highest rating in history of an incoming president, 80%. Perhaps the near collapse of our economy and the low approval rating of outgoing President George W. Bush have contributed to this optimism, but our country seems to be looking forward to the change.

We all have a dream of a brighter economic future for this country. How do you think Barack Obama is handling his transition? How do you think his policies will affect the nonprofit sector? What policies would help to improve your efforts to keep your organization going in these difficult times?