Drum Major for Justice: Our Call to Action on MLK Day

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  1. Intrapersonal: who am I, and what am I becoming? Starting inside ourselves, we ask what’s happening and what has happened in our world, our inner world, within ourselves… THAT is where we hold the bias, prejudice, stereotypes, and internalized subordination and internalized dominance that we carry everywhere we go that causes harm to our society and our interactions with people who are different than we are. This is where we first need to bring about transformation…. within! We need to do some abrasive soul inquiry to better understand who we are, why we are the way we are, how we impact the world, how to develop and improve ourselves, and how to cultivate and experience justice within. We must exercise the influence we have over ourselves.
  2. Interpersonal: how can I be a drum major for justice in my personal relationships? It is here that we need to be more just to one another — to our family, friends, neighbors, and all those we are in relationship with. We need to cultivate our own humanity in order to be able to connect to the humanity of those who we perceive to be different than we are. In our relationships with others is where we can be more equitable, inclusive, and just. But we cannot give what we do not have; hence, we must first cultivate it within our own being and our own identity before we can represent, exude, or live that justice we have in our relationships with others. It’s about leveraging these relationships for the positive.
  3. Institutional: what influence can I have in creating a more just institution? The third sphere of influence we all hold in varying degrees is with the institutions we are employed by, we patronize, and that we have membership in. This includes our co-workers and colleagues. When my father became the first African American to ascend through the ranks to police chief, on one hand he did so partially through the positive influence he had in his relationships with others, and on the other hand, there was a fear held by many White police officers that he was going to discriminate against them because of their race. Yet, when the first officer he fired was African American, the shock of that sent a message to a lot of people that he was holding everyone to the same high standard regardless of their race. As well, he went on to be the first to promote other African Americans and women in ways the department had never seen — in ways that were equitable and fair to everyone. Whether it’s holding businesses we patronize or organizations we volunteer with accountable for their practices, or our co-workers and colleagues accountable for their actions, in these institutions we often hold an influence we can leverage towards justice.
  4. Community: what broader movements towards justice can I instigate in my community? The fourth sphere of influence we all have is in the community in which we reside. As a community member, how we carry ourselves represents the various identities we are often judged by. How we treat and act towards others can contribute to an atmosphere of goodwill. How we engage can go towards the betterment of those in need. My father, Bill Logan Jr. exercised his sphere of influence in our community by co-founding the Chessmen Club of the Northshore Inc., one of our community’s oldest Black male community organizations serving as mentors, advocates and role models, while providing scholarships and pathways to internships and job opportunities for young people. My great grandmother Jinki housed and fed homeless people in her basement, and opened her home up to Black Northwestern University students to congregate and celebrate the holidays with our family. Where can you become active in the movement for justice in your community?

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