It has been 55 years since Dr. Martin Luther King Jr‘s iconic “I have a dream” speech in Washington D.C., but his words live on in the hearts of Americans across the country.
One of those Americans is Alabama 7th District U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell — Alabama’s first African American woman in serve in the state’s congressional delegation.
A bold advocate for civil rights herself, Sewell is taking time on Monday to reflect on Dr. King’s life and legacy calling on all American’s to recommit to the vision Dr. King espoused.
“We are the vanguard of change,” Sewell state in an MLK Day statement. “[Dr. King’s] dream lives inside each of us – a dream rooted in respect, human dignity and justice for all. Let us work while it is day.”
Read Sewell’s full statement on Dr. King below:
Each year, we gather to celebrate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and to pause and reflect on all that he has taught us throughout his short, yet impactful life. Dr. King dedicated his life to dismantling discrimination, empowering communities, and ensuring that this country lives up to its creed of equality for all.
It is not enough, however, to simply honor Dr. King’s legacy. Each of us must look within ourselves and ask ‘How are we paying it forward?’ As the direct beneficiaries of the sacrifices of Dr. King and so many other heroes and heroines, named and unnamed, we owe a debt that we can never repay. Yet, we can ensure that we recommit ourselves to the vision Dr. King espoused and continue the hard work necessary to carry forth his ideals.
We are the vanguard of change. The dream lives inside each of us – a dream rooted in respect, human dignity and justice for all. Let us work while it is day.