Honoring the Legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for Inspiring the Disability Rights Movement

By  The Arc of California, California Foundations for Independent Living Centers, Disability Rights California, State Council on Developmental Disabilities

Today, we honor and remember the legacy of the iconic civil rights movement leader Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., alongside numerous organizations in the disability community across the nation.  MLK Day represents equality and freedom and is a reminder of the barriers we have overcome to achieve both.

It is a testament to the impact of a leader when others are inspired by their words and their actions to take a stand for justice and create change in their communities. Martin Luther King, Jr., more than 50 years after his passing, continues to have an immeasurable impact — encouraging our society toward justice with “the fierce urgency of now.”

His words, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” were proudly displayed on a banner used by participants of the 1993 New York City march in honor of the 3rd anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Disability rights leaders took inspiration from Civil Rights leaders, including Martin Luther King Jr., when organizing to create and pass disability legislation such as Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the ADA.

To honor the work of Martin Luther King, Jr., born January 15, 1929, the third Monday in January is considered a day of service, reflection, and celebration. One way that you can honor the legacy of the Civil Rights Movement is by participating in the election process. Disability Vote California urges Californians with disabilities and all Californians to exercise the right to vote.

Make sure you are registered to vote for the upcoming March 5, 2024 primary election. Register on the California Secretary of State website or register with your County Elections Office by February 20, 2024, to receive your primary ballot in the mail.

Our vote is our voice and our choice!

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