It’s humbling to hear this speech again – and to reflect on the shift in attitudes over more than 50 years, and also the journey left to travel before his dream reflects reality for all people across our globe.
Congressman John Lewis: last surviving member of the big six leaders of the American Civil Rights Movement, who spoke at the March on Washington on 28 August 1963; Dr Maya Angelou: American author and poet, Northern coordinator for Dr King’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference; Professor Muhammad Yunus: Nobel peace laureate, and Bangladeshi microcredit economist; Doreen Lawrence: soon to become Baroness Lawrence, the mother of murdered British teenager Stephen Lawrence; Wei Jingsheng: Chinese human rights and democracy campaigner, imprisoned for more than 18 years; Mary Robinson: former UN high commissioner for human rights and the first female president of Ireland; John Hume: awarded the Gandhi Peace Prize, the Martin Luther King Award and jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his contribution to the peace process in Northern Ireland; His Holiness the Dalai Lama: Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader; Albie Sachs: anti-apartheid campaigner, appointed by Nelson Mandela to serve as a judge on the Constitutional Court of South Africa; President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia: first female head of state in Africa, Nobel peace laureate and campaigner for women’s rights; Raja Shehadeh: Palestinian lawyer, novelist and political activist; Ndileka Mandela: first granddaughter of Nelson Mandela, reading on his behalf; Ariel Dorfman: Chilean-American novelist, playwright, journalist and human rights activist; David Grossman: Israeli author and peace campaigner; Dr Shirin Ebadi: human rights lawyer, one of Iran’s first female judges, first Muslim woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize; Malala Yousafzai: Sixteen-year-old student and education activist from Swat in Pakistan, shot by the Taliban for going to school; Satish Kumar: Indian peace campaigner and environmentalist; Maestro Jose Antonio Abreu: Venezuelan economist, educator and musician, founder of the El Sistema project which harnesses classical music to the cause of social justice; Joan Baez: American songwriter, musician and activist who performed at the 1963 March on Washington; Stevie Wonder: American musician, singer and songwriter, campaigned for Martin Luther King’s birthday to become a national US holiday.
It’s 50 years ago today that Martin Luther King wrote his letter from a Birmingham Jail Martin Luther King’s Birmingham letter in which he stated that “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” and that “we are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny” Powerful words that still have resonance today…
One of the clearest lessons from a summer of sport is how keen people are to feel a meaningful connection with other people.
Interviews with athletes have moved us, the positive human story told again and again has connected with us with force and power. Time and again.
The role of volunteers, and the version of us that they present has also had a real impact, and people across London were quick to rise to the rapport and energy challenge that the volunteers laid down with their whoops, high fives and enthusiasm… each of us ripe to be engaged in a different way.
Over the coming weeks we will be exploring these lessons of 2012, looking for the underlying motivations and prompts that created shifts and thinking about how we might be able to use some of the same triggers to create similar social experiences in the months and years to come.
Some of the topics we’ll look at in the coming weeks;
The mechanics of Engagement – What does the opening ceremony tell us?
Being part of something – why did volunteers get involved and behave like that?
People on the street and feeling good – what were people celebrating during the athletes parade?
Responding to a different set of norms – Crowds high fiving and other phenomena of the games
Breaking down barriers – the way we see people with disabilities differently
People are ready and keen to feel a meaningful connection with each other. Everyday life doesn’t currently seem to create the environment for that to happen enough – so that we feel isolated, on guard and unwilling to engage with each other. At the Everyone Foundation we are interested in learning from these extraordinary times, so that we can enable extraordinary times to come…
The Everyone Foundation is bringing people together to improve the world for everyone by exploring, promoting and celebrating our common humanity
I am excited about seeing the Women we have been working for over the last 3 years on the WI’s Women Reaching Women project – we have a closing conference at the Commonwealth Club in Westminster today.
I’m delighted to announce that we will have the Parliamentary undersecretary of state for international development will be speaking with us at a conference on 12th April 2011 at the Commonwealth club in London. Stephen O’Brien will share government perspectives on International Development at the event.
The conference, delivered with the WI, Oxfam and The Everyone Foundation, will celebrate our latest project, where we will share our learning and launch a resource pack for practitioners and campaigners. More information on the project here, together with downloadable Inspiring Action Toolkit.