Every year on Martin Luther King Day, I listen to the I Have a Dream speech. In years past, I have made the speech my Rock Out on MLK Day. But this MLK Day is a particularly poignant one for those of us living in Tucson, Arizona.
So yes, I urge you to listen to the speech and to share it with your families. Nothing speaks to humanity’s potential like this speech, and it is a gift to the ages that Dr. King lived to deliver it. It gives us something to aspire to, to work towards every day.
As I have watched our community come together to support each other during this past week, the spirit of Dr. King shone everywhere. For this week, we were all Tucsonans – not black or white or brown. Just us. We were – and continue to be – family.
This particular version of the song has special meaning for me this week – made more special by a confluence of events that seem scripted by the gods.
The week before the shooting that has made news all around the world, I interviewed Nancy Hunt, co-founder of the We Are Family Foundation, for the show I do for the Chronicle of Philanthropy. And so it was that Dimitri and I spent that horrible weekend alternating between watching the news unfold and editing that interview (which I will be sharing with you tomorrow).
Over the course of the weekend, I wrote and read and then rewrote and re-read the story of the foundation – that it began immediately after 9/11 when Nile Rodgers, who originally co-wrote the song, was approached by friends from around the world, encouraging Nile to use the song as an anthem for healing. Eleven days after the attacks, 200 musicians, actors, celebrities of all sorts gathered to create the video you see above.
Today, just 9 days after the shots that have so shaken my town, we honor the man whose short life was dedicated to the power of this huge family, to the common humanity that binds us.
It is a day to remember what is possible when we remember that we are indeed all family. I hope that thought carries into everything you do this week.
Have a great Monday and a great week, all.