The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream was that our nation would “live out the true meaning of its creed” in the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.” And he also knew that the path toward that dream of equality and justice would not be easy. In “Where Do We Go From Here?” he argued that the task must be undertaken with “divine dissatisfaction.” He states:
Let us be dissatisfied until America will no longer have a high blood pressure of creeds and an anemia of deeds.
Let us be dissatisfied until the tragic walls that separate the outer city of wealth and comfort and the inner city of poverty and despair shall be crushed by the battering rams of the forces of justice.
Let us be dissatisfied until those that live on the outskirts of hope are brought into the metropolis of daily security.
Let us be dissatisfied until slums are cast into the junk heaps of history, and every family is living in a decent sanitary home.
Let us be dissatisfied until the dark yesterdays of segregated schools will be transformed into bright tomorrows of quality, integrated education.
Let us be dissatisfied until integration is not seen as a problem but as an opportunity to participate in the beauty of diversity.
Let us be dissatisfied until men and women, however black they may be, will be judged on the basis of the content of their character and not on the basis of the color of their skin.
Let us be dissatisfied until every state capitol houses a governor who will do justly, who will love mercy and who will walk humbly with his God.
Let us be dissatisfied until from every city hall, justice will roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.
Let us be dissatisfied until that day when the lion and the lamb shall lie down together and every man will sit under his own vine and fig tree and none shall be afraid.
Let us be dissatisfied. And men will recognize that out of one blood God made all men to dwell upon the face of the earth.
Let us be dissatisfied until that day when nobody will shout “White Power!” – when nobody will shout “Black Power!” – but everybody will talk about God’s power and human power.”
As the University of Michigan celebrates its 25th observance of the life and legacy of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the symposium committee believes that the realization of the dream is not a final destination but a continuing journey through an ever-changing landscape and moving mile markers. The tools of navigation throughout the journey must be constantly monitored and adjusted. Our greatest tools should be our hearts, our minds and our commitment to create a nation where truly We the People…Realize the Dream.