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Ohioans Called to Act on MLK Day and Beyond

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Monday, January 15, 2018   

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- This year marks the 50th anniversary of the death of Martin Luther King Jr., and his life and legacy will be honored today all around Ohio.

Christina Brown is with the Martin Luther King Jr. Coalition of Cincinnati, where the 43rd annual march will begin outside the Freedom Center. While there has been progress on equality in recent decades, Brown said more needs to be done - not just to celebrate Dr. King's work, but to correct the problems that contribute to pervasive social inequality.

"Issues around race and class and gender and sexual orientation never were really resolved, so we have to popularly re-educate our society,” Brown said. “But then we also have to act to repair the systems that have harmed so many for so long."

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a day of service, and other events across the state include volunteer projects, prayer breakfasts, church services, lectures and film screenings. Dr. King was killed in April of 1968, but a federal holiday was not officially declared until 1983.

Brown said Dr. King taught through example, and the holiday celebrates his values of courage, trust, compassion, dignity and racial justice. She said the key is promoting his work beyond today's holiday.

"There are a lot of groups right now who are forming and who have been around and are trying to create interconnected movements to do things like make sure that everyone has an affordable place to live and quality water and access to transportation,” she said. “And that will literally take all of our efforts."

Last Friday, the 2018 Ohio Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Celebration in Columbus honored people and organizations who carry on Dr. King's legacy and dream to advance nonviolent social change.


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