Opinion | John Lewis | Together, You Can Redeem the Soul of Our Nation

By Mr. Lewis, the civil rights leader who died on July 17, wrote this essay shortly before his death, to be published upon the day of his funeral.

While my time here has now come to an end, I want you to know that in the last days and hours of my life you inspired me. You filled me with hope about the next chapter of the great American story when you used your power to make a difference in our society. Millions of people motivated simply by human compassion laid down the burdens of division. Around the country and the world you set aside race, class, age, language and nationality to demand respect for human dignity.

That is why I had to visit Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington, though I was admitted to the hospital the following day. I just had to see and feel it for myself that, after many years of silent witness, the truth is still marching on.

Emmett Till was my George Floyd. He was my Rayshard Brooks, Sandra Bland and Breonna Taylor. He was 14 when he was killed, and I was only 15 years old at the time. I will never ever forget the moment when it became so clear that he could easily have been me. In those days, fear constrained us like an imaginary prison, and troubling thoughts of potential brutality committed for no understandable reason were the bars.

Though I was surrounded by two loving parents, plenty of brothers, sisters and cousins, their love could not protect me from the unholy oppression waiting just outside that family circle. Unchecked, unrestrained violence and government-sanctioned terror had the power to turn a simple stroll to the store for some Skittles or an innocent morning jog down a lonesome country road into a nightmare. If we are to survive as one unified nation, we must discover what so readily takes root in our hearts that could rob Mother Emanuel Church in South Carolina of her brightest and best, shoot unwitting concertgoers in Las Vegas and choke to death the hopes and dreams of a gifted violinist like Elijah McClain.

Like so many young people today, I was searching for a way out, or some might say a way in, and then I heard the voice of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on an old radio. He was talking about the philosophy and discipline of nonviolence. He said we are all complicit when we tolerate injustice. He said it is not enough to say it will get better by and by. He said each of us has a moral obligation to stand up, speak up and speak out. When you see something that is not right, you must say something. You must do something. Democracy is not a state. It is an act, and each generation must do its part to help build what we called the Beloved Community, a nation and world society at peace with itself.

Ordinary people with extraordinary vision can redeem the soul of America by getting in what I call good trouble, necessary trouble. Voting and participating in the democratic process are key. The vote is the most powerful nonviolent change agent you have in a democratic society. You must use it because it is not guaranteed. You can lose it.

You must also study and learn the lessons of history because humanity has been involved in this soul-wrenching, existential struggle for a very long time. People on every continent have stood in your shoes, through decades and centuries before you. The truth does not change, and that is why the answers worked out long ago can help you find solutions to the challenges of our time. Continue to build union between movements stretching across the globe because we must put away our willingness to profit from the exploitation of others.

Though I may not be here with you, I urge you to answer the highest calling of your heart and stand up for what you truly believe. In my life I have done all I can to demonstrate that the way of peace, the way of love and nonviolence is the more excellent way. Now it is your turn to let freedom ring.

When historians pick up their pens to write the story of the 21st century, let them say that it was your generation who laid down the heavy burdens of hate at last and that peace finally triumphed over violence, aggression and war. So I say to you, walk with the wind, brothers and sisters, and let the spirit of peace and the power of everlasting love be your guide.


John Lewis, the civil rights leader and congressman who died on July 17, wrote this essay shortly before his death.

Written in the New York times:

2018 NWMMSDC Economic Impact Report

The Council released its 2018 Economic Impact Report, highlighting the economic effect MBEs have in our region – Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. Our work with MBEs and corporate/public agency members drives increased community value. Through effective engagements, members drive MBE growth, increased member diverse spend and efficiency, increased community employment, wages, and taxes, thereby enabling our communities’ path to self-sufficiency.

To view the report, click here.

This Economic Impact report was produced by supplier.io.

Council Hosts Year End Meeting to Close Out 2019

The Council closed out 2019 reporting back to its stakeholders across the region by hosting the Year End Meeting on December 10th. The team followed last year’s model and traveled to multiple states in the region to host a dynamic meeting where MBEs, members, and friends all called in to join one meeting. Fernando Martinez and Karla Malacon hosted from the University of Washington in Seattle, Mayra Rivera hosted from U.S. Translation Company’s headquarters in Utah, and Huda Al-musawi joined from Nike World Headquarters in Oregon. Everybody else had the option to call in via web video conference.

President and CEO of the Council, Fernando Martinez, delivered the presentation and answered live questions as attendees had a final opportunity to network in 2019. We look forward to what 2020 has in store for our network as we continue to drive Supplier Diversity forward!

Click here to view the presentation.

For photos of this event, click here.

           

Approve I-1000: Fairness and Opportunity for All

As Washingtonians, we believe in fairness and opportunity for everyone. But we know that even in this strong economy, too many veterans, small businesses, women and diverse communities are being left behind. We can take a big step forward in creating opportunity and a level playing field for all by approving Initiative 1000 on our November ballot.

For more information, click here

2019 NMSDC Conference + Business Opportunity Exchange

The Northwest Mountain MSDC had a productive week attending the NMSDC Conference + Business Opportunity Exchange in Atlanta from October 13th through October 16th. It was a week full of networking, workshops and Supplier Diversity discussions.

The Council hosted the annual Private Reception at Paschal’s following the Business Opportunity Exchange. Congratulations to Kevin Shirley, Co-Founder of American Soul Brothers and Eric Albinson, Director of Sales at BigR.io for winning the MBE Scholarships!

137th Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting

The Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce hosted their 137th Annual Meeting September 19th at the Westin Hotel in Seattle. The luncheon included guest speakers Marilyn Strickland, President and CEO of the Seattle Metro Chamber, Gary Locke, former Washington state governor, Diana Birkett Rakow, Vice President of External Relations at Alaska Airlines and Hon. Jenny Durkan, Mayor of City of Seattle. The theme of this year’s luncheon, “Making Our Mark” was highlighted throughout the event. Watch the video below to hear Fernando Martinez, President and CEO of the NWMMSDC, speak more about “Making Our Mark”!