by Rachel Kelley, ’12
This past week I had the chance work with the student group FAITH (Faiths Act in Togetherness and Hope) and staff of the Stanford Office for Religious Life to put together a multi-faith service in honor of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Did you know that Dr. King preached a sermon in Memorial Church? Did you know that we have the Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute on the Stanford campus?
As part of the service, three students and I read part of the “I Have a Dream” speech. This opportunity was a tremendously humbling and meaningful experience. In introducing the speech, I hoped to convey the idea that the difficult struggle for justice is far from over. The speech itself reminds us that through our stories and our dreams we have cause to hope.
When Dr. King stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, he was looking out at thousands of people – thousands of people who each, in some way, had joined a vast struggle against oppression and violence. Dr. King looked out on the crowd, and he said, “I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations…Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution.”
Whether those storms look different today or whether they look the same, storms of persecution are as real now as they were in 1963. Continue reading