On August 28, 1983, a coalition of people from across the country gathered at the Lincoln Memorial in a peaceful march to rekindle Martin Luther King, Jr.'s dream of economic opportunity and equal justice for all. Twenty years after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech, 250,000 people gathered to continue his dream and legacy. I was there.
I remember it as a hot, muggy day in my home city and I began the day with the intent to document what was happening. There was no mobile phone or our social media in existence then to tell the story. My only technology was a Pentax SLR camera and 40 rolls of Kodak film. I was unaware how the images I created and my experience changed how I see and my life behind the camera. The camera had to be more than a tool used to document a moment. It was then I began to wonder how to use the camera to create an experience.
What I remember today about that day in 1983 was being moved by my experience to see differently. Today, nearly 40 years later, my work in real estate has expanded to help people think differently housing and understand how the benefits of the Fair Housing Act (1968) and Fair Housing Amendments Act (1988). This year as Co-Chair of the Education Committee at the Santa Fe Association of Realtors, it is my hope to increase our knowledge about access to affordable housing by thinking differently about it.
A important lesson to remember from 1983 is that the actions of 250,000 people made a start in building Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy. A few months after this March on Washington for Jobs, Peace and Freedom to commerate the 1963 March and Martin Luther Kings, Jr's speech, President Ronald Reagan signed into law on November 2, 1983 a statue creating Martin Luther King Day. It took more time to become a federal holiday. King's birthday was made a state government holiday in all 50 states by 2000. Every third Monday in January is now marked as a holiday to celebrate the birth of Martin Luther King's Jr.'s birthday.
Although I have heard stories and read about Martin Luther King's Jr.'s 1963 speech, there is nothing like hearing him speak his words in his voice, today. Thanks to our technology and the internet, you can listen to him here now.
Thank you for reading and perhaps thinking about today and our future together differently. Emily Medvec
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