In 1964, after winning the Nobel Peace Prize, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “There is nothing new about poverty. What is new, however, is that we have the resources to get rid of it.” As we reflect on the recent Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend and prepare for the upcoming flurry of goal-setting and vision boards for 2024, we want to take a moment to remind ourselves what the movement we are building is fighting for: a multiracial democracy and a people-centered economy where our communities can live in dignity and flourish with the rights and freedoms that we all deserve. Nearly 60 years after Dr. King spoke those words, our work to ensure society’s riches are distributed equitably is as urgent as ever.
In January 2023, Co-President Dorian Warren joined a KQED panel discussion on How America Has Failed to Achieve MLK’s Vision for Economic Justice. Hosted by Alexis Madrigal (KQED’s Forum) and joined by Michael Honey (University of Washington, Tacoma) and Tinisch Hollins (Californians for Safety and Justice, SF Black Wall Street, and SF African-Americans Reparations Advisory Committee), the conversation is a reminder of how revolutionary Dr. King’s ideas were and how relevant they are to our work today.
Looking for more inspiration for your 2024 work? Reflect with us on these powerful pieces that analyze and uplift Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy.
- Take a look with Community Change ChangeWire Fellow Bobbi Dempsey at the many men and women organizers and leaders who helped advocate and fight for justice alongside Dr. King in 13 People You May Not Have Known Were At the “I Have a Dream” Event.
- In the 60+ years since MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speech, we know that so much progress has been made, yet many things have stayed the same. ChangeWire Fellow Sa’iyda Shabazz reminds us why we still fight and write and gather in protest and community in Since 1963, It’s Been Summer after “Sweltering Summer of the Negro’s Legitimate Discontent”.
- It’s a gift to be able to talk about the hard things. Being a storyteller allows the fight for democracy to go even further. Check out this original poem by ChangeWire Fellow Ayanna Albertson on “Difficult Conversations.”
We’re reminded that it’s relational organizing that holds us through the changes of our world. Learn more about the decade-long battle for childcare justice that Clarissa Doutherd, executive director of our partner Parent Voices Oakland, fought and won.
Meet our 2024 ChangeWire Fellows
We’re not in the business of making predictions about what the new year will look like — particularly in a presidential election year. But what we can say with near certainty is it’s going to be harder than ever for newsrooms to connect with audiences authentically, curb the spread of disinformation, and break through the noise.
For a reliable perspective on issues and movements, we invite you to explore Changewire.org. We have a stellar new cohort of ChangeWire Fellows with expertise and experience in the issues that matter. All of our 2024 fellows are storytellers from low-income backgrounds, spanning six key geographies, and representing perspectives from Baby Boomers to Gen Z. Without further ado, here are the folks who will bring you news from the ground up:
Pamela M. Covington
Learn more about our fellows and what they are excited to work on at changewire.org.
CHILD CARE TAX CREDIT IN 2024
Since the expanded American Rescue Plan child tax credit (CTC) expired at the end of 2021, child poverty has doubled. Still, through the power of organizing we can win another expansion. The tax package proposal announced in Congress on Jan. 16 includes an expanded CTC to empower families, boost our economy, and bring us one step closer to racial equity. In response to the proposal, Co-President Lorella Praeli said, “Our children and our economy are counting on Congress to move quickly to pass an enhanced Child Tax Credit that delivers much needed support this tax season. If passed, this proposal for an enhanced CTC would reach 16 million more children in low-income families in its first year alone.” Read more here.
NY TIMES: For Some Young People, a College Degree Is Not Worth the Debt
In this New York Times piece, Community Change ChangeWireFellow Emily Withnall addresses why many graduates, including her own child, are faced with either delaying or dropping out of college altogether to avoid decades-long student debt.
A Basic Income Trial In the U.S. Got $2 Million In Funding to Continue for a Second Year
Community Change partner Colorado Cross Disability Coalition shares how a coalition of directly impacted Denverites convinced city leaders to fund an additional year of a guaranteed income pilot program aimed at ending homelessness.
Join the Movement for Change in 2024
As Ebonie McMillan, member leader of Community Change partner ISAIAH, shared: “We need that connection to others who believe change is possible.” Together with our supporters, Community Change is breaking down barriers to build a multi-racial democracy where everyone thrives. As we look toward the possibilities of 2024, we invite you to join the movement for change with a gift that directly builds power from the ground up. Join the fight for change, patience, determination, and optimism.
PHOTO CREDIT: HYOUNG CHANG / CONTRIBUTOR VIA GETTY IMAGES
A Post-Affirmative Action World Demands More — Not Less — Funding for Black Leaders
Cora Daniels, Senior Editorial Director at the Bridgespan Group and the Dreaming in Color podcast, reflects on the strings of racism, affirmative action, and black leadership in 2023. She also encourages us to double down on support for leaders of color and continue stand against perceived legal threats.
Thank you for reading about what’s happening this month at Community Change. See you next month!