Honoring the Legacy of Dr. King
This year our AmeriCorps Project Rise cohort took the time to reflect on the legacy of Dr. King and how we amplify his ideals through our service as AmeriCorps members and at New AP. Sierra Driver, the School Readiness AmeriCorps Member, had this to share: “Dr. King’s ultimate legacy is the practice of service. His recognition is that equality is not a symbol, but an action, a pragmatic reality based in access to opportunities and recognition of rights.” Here at New AP, Dr. King’s lesson of perseverance is ingrained in the individuals who choose to dedicate their lives serving refugees in need; so that they may succeed here in Georgia. As AmeriCorps members we choose to serve in the same capacity with passion and care and because it is the right thing to do.
The AmeriCorps mission is to ‘Get things done for America.’ At New American Pathways, we are able to help the organization meet its mission by helping refugees on their path to success. Pamela Swartz, our Family Support AmeriCorps member, highlighted that New AP’s service for the refugee community is done in the hope it allows them to realize their full potential and dreams. “Dr. King spent his life advocating for equality and civil rights in hopes that marginalized people can do the same. This is echoed in his famous I Have a Dream speech.”
“As AmeriCorps members we collectively want to see everyone reach their fullest potential. This is true of all of the AmeriCorps programs nation-wide” states Waduda Muhammad, the Volunteer Engagement AmeriCorps Member who is serving her second AmeriCorps term. “AmeriCorps is service at its core, in the communities it serves and the people’s lives it touches”.
Dr. King advocated for underserved and marginalized communities, recognizing that our nation needs to create the conditions for equity and structural change. Our Resettlement Education AmeriCorps Member Alex acknowledged Dr. King’s efforts for equity, “Dr. King had the courage and wisdom to stand up for equality for us all. His legacy inspires me every day to advocate for our clients to have the same opportunities for success, prosperity, and peace in this country as anyone else.” Historically, the discourse of our nation was centered on fighting for justice for everyone. We must remember that, in the words of Dr. King, “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”