“Would Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. be proud today?”
That is the question Vibrant Pittsburgh has posed nearly 50 years after the Civil Rights leader’s famous "I Have a Dream" speech. While there has been significant progress made in education, equal employment, healthcare, and socioeconomic status, Pittsburgh can still do more.
In 1966, Dr. King also gave a speech at the University of Pittsburgh where he said, “We are tied together—white and black Americans—in a single garment of destiny.” Melanie Harrington, Vibrant Pittsburgh CEO, said his words were a call to action both then and now.
“If you are the holder of an opportunity, whatever that opportunity might be, are you providing an equal opportunity for people of all backgrounds to either participate or pursue that opportunity with you?” Harrington said.
Organizations such as Vibrant Pittsburgh Affinity Groups and events like the One Young World Summit that the city hosted this past fall are a few examples of work that has already been done to promote diversity and equal opportunity.
Harrington said Dr. King acknowledged change cannot be possible without community and individual effort. “He spoke often about this notion that there are things among us as human beings that tie us together, or that should tie us together, that together we can do many more things that we can do separately and individually,” Harrington said.
Progress has been made, but the city continues to keep moving forward.
Yes, Harrington said, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would be proud of Pittsburgh.