Eighty-four years ago today, Martin Luther King Jr.--the Baptist minister, the civil rights leader, the Nobel Peace Prize winner--was born.
When I think about all of King's accomplishments, it's amazing that he was able to accomplish so much in a mere thirteen years. With great fervor and an unwavering courage, King used nonviolence and intellect to create true change in American society.
In 1955, Rosa Parks' arrest helped transition King from a young, local Baptist preacher to a national civil rights leader. For more than a year, King led members of Montgomery's African-American community in a bus boycott that ended with the desegregation of public transportation.
A year later, King and Reverend Ralph Abernathy established the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) to help African-American churches lead nonviolent protests.
By 1963, King delivered his famous "I Have A Dream Speech" and the following year, he won the Nobel Peace Prize and witnessed the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
But King was not satisfied.
When King was assassinated in 1968, he was helping sanitation workers in Memphis to fight for their rights as employees. And he was organizing the Poor People's Campaign,making poverty, lack of housing, inadequate education and employment an issue that all Americans needed to address.
One of my favorite quotes by King is "the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy." Not only did King live by these words, but he has inspired generations of people--throughout the world--to protest and create change in their societies.