The following is a statement issued by the Community Coalition in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.:

“Fifty years after the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. our country feels more divided than ever, as we are entrenched in the same epic struggle for which he sacrificed his life. The unrelenting persistence of racism emboldened by the rise of White nationalism, mass incarceration, the senseless killings of Black and Brown people by police officers, and the growing economic inequality are but just a few of the issues impacting our daily lives.

With such deep divisions, the way forward often seems unclear. However, it is during these challenging times that his profound words have such resonance today: ‘The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.’ These words serve as a reminder of our purpose. We must continue to build a stronger, more interconnected movement powerful enough to create a society grounded in racial, economic, and moral justice. 

As history and Dr. King taught us, progress of the most fundamental kind, is born when masses of people unite to bring attention to injustice and show an alternative path forward. Most recently, people taking action marked another step forward towards justice as demonstrated by young people leading the way with the March for Our Lives anti-gun rally and community actions in support of Stephon Clark.

As we take this day to reflect on Dr. King’s legacy, we must continue to call out the fact that his work remains unfinished and we must also decide who we want to be as a city and as a nation. We know numerous challenges are yet to come, but that also means change is possible. So, with the reverberation of the voices of young people in our ears, we must commit to the continued fight for justice and equity that has yet to be realized.”

This week, Community Coalition also released the PSA “We Are King’s Dream”that pays homage to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. through a powerful narrative in which South LA residents commit to carrying on Dr. King’s legacy by continuing the fight for social justice.

For nearly 30 years, Community Coalition has provided a hub to elevate South LA’s voice and empower residents to take control over the future of their neighborhoods. Community Coalition works with residents to build a prosperous and healthy South LA with safe neighborhoods, quality schools, and a strong social safety net. The Coalition continues to work on positive economic development that reduces crime, poverty and substance abuse in South LA through resident organizing, direct advocacy and community support services.”