How America Has Failed to Achieve MLK’s Vision for Economic Justice

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17th May 1957: Back view of American civil rights leader and Baptist minister Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929 - 1968), dressed in black robes and holding out his hands towards the thousands of people who have gathered to hear him speak near the Reflecting Pool in Washington, DC during the Prayer Pilgrimage. The Washington Monument can be seen in the background.  (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

The U.S.  continues to grapple with poverty, economic inequality, and racial inequity more than 50 years after the death of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.  In some lesser known speeches, King advocated for revolutionary ideas to eradicate poverty and provide economic justice such as a guaranteed basic income. We’ll look at King’s proposals for combating inequality, the evolution of those ideas over the decades,  and current campaigns for economic justice in the Bay Area and nationally.


Michael Honey, Professor of Labor and Ethnic Studies and American History, University of Washington, Tacoma

Dorian Warren, Co-President, Community Change

Tinisch Hollins, executive director, Californians for Safety and Justice - co-founder of SF Black Wall Street, Vice Chair of SF African-Americans Reparations Advisory Committee