By Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin
Each year we mark Martin Luther King Jr. Day with gratitude for the man who shared his dream with our nation and with great pride for how far we’ve come in making that dream a reality. I believe Dr. King would be proud of us. I also believe he would challenge us further — to recognize where inequality persists, and vow to be the facilitators of change.
For as much progress as we’ve made toward equality, make no mistake, there’s more work to be done. We must remain vigilant.
We must make sure this generation, the next generation, and those that shall come after them, know: we are all created equal. That is why last year I supported the establishment of the Herbert Henderson Office of Minority Affairs. This office was long overdue in our state, and I’m proud it’s now part of my office. Please know the Office of Minority Affairs is working each and every day to bring equality to all, just as Dr. King sought so many years ago.
We each possess the power to make a difference. I’m grateful our great state is full of hard working people who strive to improve our communities each and every day. I believe the stability and strength of our hometowns is firmly rooted in how we respect one another — as equals. I encourage all West Virginians to recommit to Dr. King’s dream and become facilitators of equality for all.
Dr. King once said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” Equality for all and respect for one another matter. Alone we are one but together we are many. And we can make a difference.
I encourage you to speak up today, tomorrow, and the next day. Make your voice heard so you may be a facilitator of change and help carry on Dr. King’s dream.