Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Today, on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, millions of people are taking part in service projects to honor King’s legacy and his message of nonviolence and social justice.

After witnessing the power of women in 2017 to affect change, we are also reminded of a poignant quote from Coretta Scott King:

“If American women would increase their voting turnout by 10 percent, I think we would see an end to all of the budget cuts in programs benefiting women and children.”

Over the years, the women’s voices featured on our site have authored powerful essays and articles on civil rights, combating racism, and tributes directly related to Martin Luther King, Jr. and the values he stood for. Here are a selection of stories from Women’s Voices for Change archive.


Visiting the National Museum of African American History and Culture: An Emotional Experience

By Cecilia M. Ford, Ph.D.

This museum was founded in the belief that a strong nation does not deny truth, even if it is ugly, painful, and shameful. The hopeful lesson that the museum teaches is that history moves forward, and, in the words of Martin Luther King Jr., “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”



Civil Rights in the 1960s: Women Sang Out, but Remain Largely Unsung

By Diane Vacca

Only one woman activist got to speak at the rally that concluded the famous 1963 March on Washington led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Here are sketches of a few of the stand-up female civil rights activists whose bravery and zeal matched his.



Poetry Sunday: “Incident,” by Natasha Trethewey

By Rebecca Foust

With Martin Luther King, Jr. Day it seems like an important time to remember our country’s fraught and tragic racial history.








Barack Obama: An MLK Day Appreciation

By Cecilia M. Ford, Ph.D.

Barack Obama has been a model for all Americans. As a father, husband, and man, he has set a standard of respect for women, responsible behavior, and dedication to others that will be his legacy and ours for the history books.






“Hands on the Freedom Plow: Personal Accounts of Women in SNCC”

By Faith Childs

Written by women of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), this book at last adds their heroism to the story of the 1960s Civil Rights movement.

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