Thursday October 26th, 1967. Martin Luther King Junior arrives in Philadelphia to speak at a high-profile event on his Freedom Tour where he delivered his now world-famous speech ‘The Other America’. Yet, just hours before, he decides to speak directly to students at Barratt Junior High School.
This speech implored the students to recognise their self-worth and to think about the choices they are making for the future. He stands in front of the hall and asks – what is your life’s blueprint?
Remembering Martin Luther King
Martin Luther King Day commemorates one of the most influential speakers of the 20th century, a prominent figure in the civil rights movement who spread messages of non-violence to all who listened. As the embodiment of freedom, justice and harmony in a time of segregation and social unrest, today seeks to recognise a great man who tried to bring people of different religions, ethnicities and nationalities together. King, a Baptist minister, spoke wholly in the name of peace and love.
Therefore, more than fifty years later, we at Blueprint for All have asked ourselves this question. What is our blueprint, our plans for making an impact in the UK today?
When King asked the hall of students what your life’s blueprint is, he didn’t just ask those students in Philadelphia. He also asks each and every one of us today to consider what our own plans are to lay the foundation of a more equal and inclusive society. His words speak to generations of people of diverse ethnic heritage, inspiring them to think about what their own hopes are for the future.
In this country, people of diverse ethnic heritage face systemic discrimination in all aspects of life – from a lack of representation across countless professional industries to failings in healthcare. This is why MLK Day inspires me to continue to educate, enthuse and inform the next generation so that they can succeed.
Looking to the future on MLK Day
At Blueprint for All, we also have asked ourselves what our own blueprint is as a charity. How are we laying the foundations of a society today that we hope to see in the future?
2022 will be a monumental year for Blueprint for All. We will support even higher numbers of underrepresented young people than we currently do, inspiring them to succeed in their education and career through our magnificent programmes. We continue to work tirelessly with our partners to enable us to deliver these programmes again this year. We will strengthen and empower community groups to allow them to better support their own communities. We will succeed in influencing societal change and social policy by challenging even more organisations to ask themselves how they are enabling systemic discrimination with their current practices.
Although these are big goals, we take courage from King’s own words. We know our worth as a charity, our own “somebodiness”. And we know that we will do what everyone should challenge themselves to do on MLK Day, on a day to remember one of the most influential orators of the 20th century – we will challenge ourselves to be the best charity we can possibly be.