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Title: Respect, Dignity and Paying it Forward

By Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz

As we remember the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., it’s tempting to quote the man whose words captured the meaning of freedom, collective conscience and what today we call “woke.” Words were said from a Birmingham jail, a pulpit, at the head of a march, in community centers, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, and in quiet conversations among friends and family.   

What I recall is the spirit in which these words were said. Dr. King’s words were a rallying cry for respect. They were a call to action and a call for personal reflection. They asked each of us to stand up, be engaged, and live our lives with dignity and grace.

Dr. King asked us to watch out and care for each other. He asked us to take care of our own selves so we can be our brothers' and sisters' keepers.

It is in this spirit that we celebrate the man, the work, and the call to pay it forward.

Revised September 11, 2017