Open Minds + Open Hearts = EQUALITY!

In the year of 2015, Equality is still an idea that is trekking full circle to give every individual the rights that they desire and deserve as humans. Those brave men and women that are in any branch of the military uphold our freedom each and every day against many individuals and organizations outside of the United States, but who fights for Equality? Who protects an American citizen from the judgment and torment of a community? There are plenty that could be named across states, but very few that had a message that span across the country and will remain timeless. A few of these legendary activist happen to be Lucy Stone, Women’s Rights activist and abolitionist, Harvey Milk, a gay rights activist and politician, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a civil rights activist and prominent minister. All across the country on this day, many cities will celebrate the birthday and the great fight for equality by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. In July of 2013, I had the pleasure of accompanying a friend across country and one of the cities we visited happen to be Montgomery, Alabama.

Being in Alabama for the day gave us the opportunity to explore some of the civil rights memorials such as the church and home of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Mrs. Coretta Scott King. Being able to sit on the same steps that this leader walked up and down just about every day of his adult life is nothing short of inspiring. Being capable of connecting to the past and the surrounding area as an outsider gives this unique feeling that not much has changed and racial tensions still run high to this day, just as tensions in reference to sexual orientation are becoming more relevant and acknowledged. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Alabama did not serve as the most welcoming place, but there are many people in this area and around the country that respect and are proud to share their lives and world with those that happen to be of another race or sexual orientation. Thank you to those open minded individuals that are willing to step out of their comfort zone into a world unknown to create a greater society.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can do that.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.