Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is the first patron federal holiday of each new year. As we consummate our goals for this new year, I would like to reflect upon the winsome words Coretta Scott King shared at the 1996 Atlanta Gay Pride Festival in Atlanta, Georgia.

In her speech, she affirmed her support and desire to see the LGBT community gain freedom from the shackles of discrimination.  She firmly believed that all forms of discrimination are wrong. In quoting her deceased husbandshe recited, “‘I have fought too long and hard against segregated public accommodations to end up segregating my moral concerns.’”

She reminded us of the importance of collaboration in our efforts for justice. She explained there is more power when we combine our efforts than working independently.  She stated, “the Civil Rights Movement…thrived on unity and inclusion, not division and exclusion.”

As we reflect upon this grand movement for justice, whether we are individuals or leaders within the LGBT community, what will be your course of action – unity and inclusion or division and exclusion?

Deaidre Newby

Deaidre Newby is a former editorial intern for QNotes.