Where We Are Now: 50 years since MLK

a message from a concerned citizen.

Blake Stoner
Jan 16, 2018 · 3 min read

Growing up in Atlanta, the presence of Dr. King’s influence was evident. He was a man whose dream stirred the nation, a role model of peace, and the hero who you knew lived down the street. So MLK day, meant that much more in Atlanta.

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On this day, my parents always had me pause to watch the MLK day commemorative special from Ebenezer Baptist Church. They wanted me to hear the perspectives of people from all walks of life talk about the impact MLK had on the world. This left an indelible mark on me.

From being the grandson of a freedom rider who worked with Dr. King, I always felt an urge to learn about MLK’s work. As I got older, this urge became a desire to do more in making change happen. For me, MLK day serves not as a day off, but a day to remember the sacrifices of the past, in order to push forward in the present.

I see that this focus is all the more needed now. 2018 marks 50 years since the assassination of Dr. King. Yet the work to realize his noble dream has diminished in the United States. In fact, we are experiencing turbulent times as a nation. Racial relations are clashing and the divide in finding common ground on national crises has deepened.

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50 years later, we are still battling with some of the same social evils for which Dr. King sacrificed his life. I can say with sincerity, that I am not satisfied with the state of America. So now the question becomes what will I do about that?

Times have changed, and the torch has been passed to a new generation. What we choose to do in this moment will determine our future, thus I do not wish to stand idly by. I believe that in order to make change a reality, we must usher it in. With that spirit, I choose to do something new this MLK day.

I wish to honor MLK day by announcing a campaign to explore the state of America from perspectives all across the nation. I am calling the campaign Where We Are Now.

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This campaign will focus on finding cross-cultural points of view, to give an examination of the conditions of America regionally. This work will highlight both communities and leadership, to understand the progress that has been made, what issues linger, and the further challenges the nation still has to face. My hope in doing this is to create an impartial production that gives needed consideration to the conditions around America while serving as a vessel of compassion during these troubling times.

I see this campaign as an avenue to give intimate context to how far we have come as a nation, while also serving as a productive tribute to MLK. With that, I ask for prayers and support in helping to make this project as great as it can be. Stay tuned for further updates on the campaign. #WWAN

Happy MLK Day,

Blake Stoner

IG/ Twitter @stonerdelic

The campaign has officially kicked off! Please keep up with it @VngleStories on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter.

Where We Are Now Campaign.

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