01.12.2021|Inside Verizon

Encore presentation of Verizon’s Next20: “We have a dream”

By: Marie McGehee

Hear from Dr. Clarence B. Jones, who served on the front lines of the civil rights movement with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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“We must choose nonviolence as a way of life if we are to survive as a democratic and humane society on this fragile and beautiful planet we share with people of all races and nationalities and living things.”
- Dr. Clarence B. Jones

Monday, January 18, marks the 35th anniversary of the national holiday in the United States in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday. Observed on the third Monday of each January, MLK Day recognizes Dr. King's incomparable legacy in advancing civil rights and social justice.

Over the last year, we experienced compounding crises that further exposed deep-rooted inequities across every aspect of life in the U.S.. From healthcare to education and unemployment, the weight of the pandemic and subsequent economic downturn has been disproportionately shouldered by people of color. On top of this, continued acts of racial and social injustice made it clear that we have a long way to go before real, lasting equality becomes our reality.

However, as Dr. King reminded us, "Darkness cannot drive out darkness." With every turn in the road, there's light ahead sparked by a global chorus demanding overdue action and change. No matter what we face as a society, we have not given up hope that a brighter future is within our reach. As one of the most transformative leaders in modern American history, it's clear that Dr. King's hopeful calls for equality are still very much with us and offer renewed meaning in today's times.

While Dr. King's powerful words continue to educate, provoke and inspire, few can speak directly to the profound impact of his life and teachings than Dr. Clarence B. Jones, a personal friend, attorney, speechwriter and confidant to Dr. King. In the countless hours spent with the civil rights leader, Dr. Jones co-authored the revered "I have a dream" speech, which Dr. King delivered during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on August 28, 1963, at the height of the civil rights movement.

Today, Dr. Jones is the co-founder of the University of San Francisco's Institute for Nonviolence and Social Justice. Over the summer, we caught up with him to discuss Dr. King's long-lasting legacy and his hopes for the future amid heightened calls for systemic change.

In a word, Dr. Jones exudes hope. Despite the pain and turmoil he endured on the front lines of fighting for equality, he remains absolute in his belief that justice, goodness and love always prevail.

It has never been a better time to revisit Dr. Jones' call to action for V Teamers and the greater society by watching an encore presentation of Verizon's #Next20: "We have a dream."

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