MLK Photo Essay: Remembering We’re on a Mission for All

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March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom (1963). Photo credit: American Jewish Historical Society.

As we celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. this weekend, we reflect on how the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s influenced public school campuses throughout the country. Even as our nation has advanced toward better opportunities for all, far too many inequities remain, and at Green Dot, we’re still on a mission to graduate all students prepared for college, leadership, and life.

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Our families organize for change and advocacy via United Parents and Students.

Unequal access to high quality schools remains a serious barrier to social mobility in the United States, exacerbating historic gaps in income inequality and all that follows in terms of quality of living.

A young woman at the Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C. (1963) Photo credit: National Archives at College Park.
A young woman at the Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C. (1963) Photo credit: National Archives at College Park.

As educators, we have an obligation to our students to challenge injustices, model leadership and teach the skills that engender agency. Educators are agents of a civil rights movement, knowing that changing the odds for students means changing the odds for their families and generations to come.

Green Dot supports students and families in civic engagement from a young age.
Green Dot supports students and families in civic engagement from a young age.

Leadership means speaking truth to power, standing up for one’s beliefs and speaking out against injustice, as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. so valiantly modeled and inspired others to do. We must guide students to grow into civically engaged and just citizens who advocate for the vulnerable and the disenfranchised.

Civil Rights March from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama (1965). Photo credit: Library of Congress.
Civil Rights March from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama (1965). Photo credit: Library of Congress.

We continue this work knowing that successes from the Civil Rights Movement were the result of partnerships and community organizing as well as the leadership of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his colleagues.

Green Dot students express the power of voting and encourage parents and community partners to register.
Green Dot students express the power of voting and encourage parents and community partners to register.

Through a close partnership with United Parents and Students, we have helped parents in the communities that Green Dot serves become a force for positive change in the lives of their children and the community at large.

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Martin Luther King, Jr. near podium at Montgomery March (1965). Photo credit: American Jewish Congress Collection.

As we celebrate Dr. King’s legacy this weekend, we must remember it is not only our collective responsibility to ensure we live in a country that values, preserves, and exalts the lives and potential of all.

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