It can be hard to identify with the goodness of the great. The bar is set too high. Figures like Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Mother Teresa and Nelson...
My family's appreciation of Mr. Mandela dates back nearly a half century, long before millions knew who he was, when my father, Martin Luther King, Jr. was in London preparing for his acceptance of the Nobel Prize for Peace to occur three days later in Oslo, Norway.
As someone who believes all social justice issues are interrelated, here was a chance to take a stand in defense of families being torn apart by an immigration system that flies in the face of our nation's immigrant history, and the bedrock American value of justice for all.
The human animal is, quite reasonably, afraid of the dark. When living in it, we seek light. In accepting the reality of Nelson Mandela's death, my sad heart is drawn to the light of hope he offers us all: history will be what we make of it.
The obligation to propel Dr. King's message of social equity into the modern day rests on the shoulders of this generation.
Stepping out gracefully, without stepping in was one of the themes at the Aspen gathering this year. I remember sitting in the room and taking it all ...
The Nelson Mandela of the 21st century is right here, right now. We just can't see it. We're too busy spitting on him and calling him a terrorist.
Mandela was a giant of a statesman, whose passing leaves us with pigmies at the helm of most countries. But when someone dies after giving a lifetime to humanity, we should at least pay them the respect of addressing what they said, even if we disagree with them.
They have lifted millions of poor families and children out of poverty but now are under assault by political extremists. We must stand up and refuse to let them turn the clock of progress backwards.
On December 4th it will be 44 years since a select unit of 14 Chicago Police officers executed a pre-dawn raid on a west side apartment that left Illinois Black Panther Party leaders Fred Hampton and Mark Clark dead.
This past summer, I stood on the northern grounds of The City College of New York, surrounded by large rectangular panels representing works from more than 90 visual artists.
Calling for an international "Sustainability Revolution," spearheaded by faith leaders from around the world, American environmental leader Christina Lee Brown Thursday implored the 9th World Assembly of Religions for Peace to address the imminent perils of climate change.
I hope, as we remember a young President, that we will renew our commitment to building with urgency and persistence a just America where every child is valued and enabled to achieve their God given potential regardless of the lottery of birth.
It is time to get over the notion that not being lost in hatred is a sign of weakness or giving in. We are ready for another way of viewing strength and a fresh approach to improving life on this planet.
We mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination of JFK with sadness and wonder at what might have been if this extraordinarily charming and visionary president had lived to complete two terms. Yet we know that his luminous example of hope and courage continues to set the standard.
Rustin taught us to believe in ourselves, in our own ability to transform individuals and societies steeped in discrimination, deaf to the calls of compassion, and yet never beyond redemption.