RAPs Youth Interns Reflect on MLK

In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr., RAP’s youth interns wanted to reflect on some words of wisdom from the late MLK and share some of their thoughts on what a commitment to social justice means to them.

In the world that we live in today, injustices must be solved. Silence is no longer an answer to our everyday life issues. We have to speak up for what’s going on in the world, especially when it impacts a person’s ability to live life to the fullest. As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” Choosing not to respond to important matters in one’s life isn’t solving anything. When there is an issue, we must speak up and try to find a way towards the solution.

You can see this with racial injustice in America. People all over the world began seeing the injustices that happen here everyday through voices spreading awareness through television and social media. It inspired people to march for justice in Ferguson and beyond, for all those lost lives that didn’t receive the justice that they deserved. When you speak up for a problem, you become connected to others in standing up for that issue. You work together to tell others and see the results coming.

– Fatou Gakou, RAP YouthVoiceNYC Intern

To me, this quote means that it is okay to believe in something even if it is not physically present — that’s what it means to have faith. To believe in a concept or idea that has loose ends is to have faith, and if weonly believe in such concepts that are simply realistic, we would limit ourselves to the possibilities of achieving greater things. Some people might say that faith could only pertain to religion, where they’d argue there isn’t much science or consistency involved in the discipline, but that having faith in a higher power gives people the encouragement to do better or that there is better awaiting. In terms of social justice, overcoming the injustices that exist within society may seem at times impossible, but if we don’t take the first step in believing we can conquer these issues, how will we ever do it? It is okay to not have all the answers first hand, but if we do not try, we will never discover them.

– Gabby Diaz, RAP YouthVoiceNYC Intern