Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s last book, "Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?" raised a question that is still relevant today. Against a backdrop of social unrest and uncertainty, Dr. King still wrote of hope. Much like the late 1960’s when this book was written, we find ourselves today grappling with some of the same issues and pondering the question: Where do we go from here? As we turn on the television and radio, or tune into social media, we see reports of literature being left in driveways inviting residents to join hate groups, people being killed due to the color of their skin, groups being scapegoated because of their country of origin, and exploitation perpetuated because of a second X instead of a Y chromosome. In this land of the free and home of the brave, we must decide to be a part of the solution.
We must hold ourselves and others around us accountable. Accountable for the words we speak, actions we take, and environment we create. When we begin to do this at home, in our social circles, and in the work environment, then we will see change. We are all equipped and uniquely positioned to be agents of change. Choose to make a difference and be that change we all need to see!
So, the next time you hear someone say something racist, sexist, or xenophobic, say something. This does not involve launching an attack, just a civil conversation about what was said and its impact. While the action may have occurred in a public setting, the conversation can occur privately. The goals are to raise consciousness and to promote equity, diversity, and inclusion.
As we hold others around us accountable, we must also take a self-inventory by periodically asking: What have I done lately to affirm equity, promote diversity, and foster inclusion? As Dr. King’s question resonates in your ear, will you take part in determining where we go from here?
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