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Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 2023 with “vigorous and positive action”

March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Joachim Prinz pictured, 1963 (6891546499)

“We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there ‘is’ such a thing as being too late. This is no time for apathy or complacency. This is a time for vigorous and positive action.”

― Martin Luther King Jr.

The sense of fierce urgency and need to take action that Dr. Martin Luther King spoke of over 50 years ago still rings true today. In the county that was renamed to honor Dr. King, the struggle for racial justice continues. In Martin Luther King Jr. County, racial inequities exist in housing, education, employment, and health among other key indicators. Today, the City of Seattle’s Race and Social Justice Initiative is one way by which city employees work to promote racial equity within city government.

Beginning in 2004, the Seattle Race and Social Justice Initiative (RSJI) ​has guided efforts to end institutionalized racism and race-based disparities in city government. RSJI builds on the work of the civil rights movement and the ongoing efforts of individuals and groups in Seattle to confront racism. The initiative’s long term goal is to change the underlying system that creates race-based disparities in our community and to achieve racial equity. Each city department has RSJI Change Teams to help work toward these goals at the department level.

The Seattle Fire Department’s Race and Social Justice Change Team is made up of dedicated employees who work together to advance equity within the department and in the communities we serve. This important work requires truthful conversations and analysis about the underlying conditions that continue to perpetuate racism and other forms of oppression in our institutions and society. It also requires learning and practicing the work, experiencing discomfort at times, and not becoming complacent. As Dr. King stated, “This is no time for apathy or complacency. This is a time for vigorous and positive action.” May we heed those words in 2023.

Local Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Events:

King County Martin Luther King event activities January 12, 2023

List of local events to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr Day

The Race and Social Justice Initiative (RSJI), Seattle Office for Civil Rights, and Seattle Center invite you to tune into the MLK Unity Day Celebration at 10 a.m. on Monday, Jan.16. You can watch through the Seattle Channel, on TV or online. This event is virtual, no registration needed.