A message from our President and CEO, Gertrude Matemba-Mutasa
Today, we recognize and honor the legacy of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., celebrating his leadership and advocacy of civil rights, passion and pursuit of social justice, and ability to inspire and spark change within people.
The impact of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is undeniable. He paved the way for thousands, if not millions, of activists to continue the fight and momentum of the civil rights movement – a movement that went beyond borders.
As an immigrant, I know first-hand what it’s like to dream of coming to the United States. This country has afforded me opportunities beyond my wildest dreams, and I am grateful to leaders like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and others for that.
My experience historically was only available to some because of discriminatory immigration practices and racist ideologies like eugenics. The fight for civil rights and equal protection under the law was happening both in the United States and abroad. After the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, new legislation aimed to eliminate discriminatory practices and made way for unprecedented advances in immigration policy which allowed more people to achieve their dreams.
While we celebrate the changes brought forth by Martin Luther King Jr.’s advocacy, we also recognize that his vision of a beloved community – a community where everyone is treated equally – is yet to be attained.
In his famous “I Have a Dream Speech,” Martin Luther King Jr. said, “We have come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism.”
As an organization, Lifeworks is igniting a similar urgency of now through our partnerships with Black, Indigenous, and People of Color to co-create culturally specific programs that help make our vision of accessible, equitable, and diverse communities a reality.
President & CEO