From Congressman David Cicilline

“Today, we honor the life and legacy of a great American, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dr. King was a devoted minister, an unparalleled orator, and an unflinching advocate for racial justice and equality.

In his most famous speech, delivered from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in August 1963, Dr. King spoke of his vision for our country.

“I have a dream,” he told thousands attending the March on Washington, “that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

Nearly 60 years since Dr. King appealed to the conscience of our country with those words, the struggle for civil rights and equality continues. Over the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the deep disparities that still exist in our country. From economic opportunity and education to health care access and criminal justice, it is clear that systemic racism continues to produce grave injustices in our society. 

We have to do more, and I am committed to making sure that we finally address these disparities with Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in the White House. It’s important to remember that racism and bigotry not only denies individuals the opportunity to reach their full potential, it also deprives our entire society of all that that person would achieve free of discrimination. 

As we remember Dr. King today, let’s all redouble our efforts to ensure that we see his dream realized in our lifetime”.

From Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea

These are troubling times. They are challenging times.  These are times that are so hard for us as parents to explain to our children. The last four years, the past few days, have shown us that racism is very much alive in our country. As our country heals from this pandemic, we also need to find ways in which to heal our country’s collective soul.

The healing of our country will not be easy. If we do it right, it will still continue to be challenging. However, it will truly provide a better future for ALL our children. We must rebuild our country with justice, with equity and with care for our environment. The next few months and possibly years, will require us to truly live Dr. King’s words – “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

May we honor Dr. King’s memory today and beyond by loving each other, as we move forward. 

Treasurer Magaziner Statement on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day 

This morning, Rhode Island General Treasurer Seth Magaziner released the following statement in commemoration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day:   

“The past year has shown the world how far we still have to go to build the Beloved Community that Dr. King envisioned. But it has also shown us that great things are possible when people of conscience come together to push for change.

“Over the past year a record number of Americans voted to elect the most diverse Presidential administration in history. Millions of people from all backgrounds marched peacefully in the streets to declare that Black Lives Matter. Our office removed the word “plantations” from the state’s checks, and voters later came together to strip the word entirely from the state’s name. Our statewide school construction initiative is investing billions of dollars into rebuilding schools in every community across the state, with millions of dollars of that work to go to companies owned by Black and Brown Rhode Islanders.

“When we come together, we can and will make progress. While many obstacles remain, we must carry the same faith that Dr. King did. Faith in ourselves, faith in our fellow citizens, and faith that a better future is close at hand.”

Governor Raimondo Commemorates Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Governor Gina M. Raimondo issued the following statement today in commemoration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day: 

“Today we celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It was Dr. King who said that life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’ His message of compassion and unity, of overcoming obstacles to build a more just and equal society, is as important today as ever.

“Over the past year, we have been reminded once again of the breadth and magnitude of racism embedded in our society. But we have also been inspired by a renewed call to action — by a new generation ready to take up the mantle and continue Dr. King’s fight. Today, let us recommit to honoring his legacy by pushing the arc of the moral universe a little closer to justice.”