On January 20, 2014, I attended the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King service at Alice Millar Chapel at Northwestern University hoping to spread the word about the campaign. Well, the campaign never came up in the crowd of mostly students, but I took away a great gift from the evening.
First, the commemoration of Dr. King by the Northwestern community, many of whom were born a full generation after his death, was an inspiration. The singing and recitation of Dr. King’s words were a recharge for the soul, reminding us of our responsibilities to the community – especially to execute governmental power with fairness and equity – and of the essential role of love and reconciliation in a damaged world.
As student Malik Dent reminded us, in Dr. King’s words, responding to darkness with darkness only multiplies it. Light is the only way to drive away the dark. Forgiveness must originate from the victim.
What an incredible message of moral strength in light of the hatred and oppression Dr. King was fighting, a struggle we carry on today in his name.
Keynote speaker and noted climate scientist Dr. Warren Washington, Ph. D., explained that environmental justice means keeping the world livable for the least among us, those who will suffer the most from dislocation due to environmental damage and sea level rise.
Dr. Washington paraphrased Dr. King when he said, “As for me, I will choose love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”
Well okay, then.