I was thinking about the upcoming Martin Luther King Holiday on my walk in this morning, how the Civil Rights Era in the U.S. can sometimes seem distant, abstract and merely iconic. But it is so much more than that. The principles for which people fought, marched and died continue to impact us in very real ways. Equal voting rights and equal civil rights have very real implications for improving society up to and through today. Take education for one; research has been able to quantify that equality improve's everyone's performance.
How to teach tolerance and non-discrimination is indeed a very important part of advancing our educational system, which is the primarily tool for advancing our society. The need for progress that precipitated the Civil Rights Era continues to today. Respecting diversity is not just a slogan - it's a strategy for success.
Image: State Representative Anastasia Pittman carries a portrait of Martin Luther King Jr. during the Martin Luther King Jr. parade in downtown on Monday, Jan. 17, 2011, in Oklahoma City, Okla. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman