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honoring martin luther king, jr.

Danielle, Area Director for Boise, Omak, and the Spokane communities would like to share a reflection about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. day:

“Yesterday many people celebrated Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day with either a day off, a day of service, or a day for lobbying. Jesuit Volunteers throughout the Northwest engaged in a day of service outside of their regular service placements. During my area visit with the Boise community, I was given the chance to attend a lobby day through the Idaho Community Action Network, a current JV placement. Participants gathered from around the state of Idaho to listen to speakers, learn from each other, meet with their state legislators, and advocate for changes in policy.

Seeing the enthusiasm of the lobby day participants, I was reminded of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the person which the day honors. Dr. King was a community organizer who was part of a larger social and political movement for human rights. Through speeches, demonstrations, and strategic actions, Dr. King inspired people to organize to try to create a better and more equal society. His ideas were grounded in moral and religious beliefs, yet he did not stop at philosophizing. Dr. King also advocated for specific changes in political laws and policies which would be grounded in social, racial, and economic justice. Following in this tradition, members of the Idaho Community Action Network rallied outside of the state capital to use their political voices. How did you spend Martin Luther King Day?

Lastly, I share this quote from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in ‘A Time to Break Silence’:

‘On the one hand, we are called to play the Good Samaritan on life’s roadside, but that will be only an initial act. One day we must come to see that the whole Jericho Road must be transformed so that men and women will not be constantly beaten and robbed as they make their journey on life’s highway. True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring.’”

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Zayna Abusada (Ashland, MT ’17-18, Anchorage, AK ’18-19) was most recently a JV in south-central Alaska serving with immigrant and refugee English-Language learners as the Academy for Citizenship and Civics Support Specialist with the Alaska Literacy Program (ALP) in Anchorage. Zayna first served with Indigenous students on the Northern Cheyenne and Crow Reservations. Originally from Iowa City, Iowa, Zayna went on to earn her undergraduate degree in History and Theological Studies with a minor in Middle Eastern Studies at Saint Louis University.

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