I get the privilege to perform at the University of Michigan in tribute to the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. A welcome change of pace from my traditional corporate show.
Year after year, our nation has faced deeply divisive incidents of violence and anger. Dr. King said we must learn to live together as brothers, or perish together as fools. My presentation will be about inspiring social justice through unity not uniformity.
Unity: the state of being united or joined as a whole. Unity is built through trust and recognizing our differences and celebrating our diversity. To ignore my color, my culture, my differences from you, is dehumanizing because it ignores the complexities of our reality.
Uniformity: the state of resisting change being inflexible in character or form. To resist tolerance toward those who are not exactly like ourselves breeds conformity. To be uniform means to look, think and behave alike – which is not only unhealthy but potentially dangerous. Uniformity manipulates our insecurities and preys on our fears of being excluded.
For peace and social justice to prevail in fulfilling our potential as a nation we must embrace unity not uniformity. This is not a black or white issue. This a unified American Issue. This is a battle cry for freedom and equality.
Not only does uniformity pervade the darkest chapters of our history, it permeates our reality of now. There is much anger and pain surrounding recent events in our country. However, if we are unable to unify and transform our pain, we are doomed to transmit it.
Martin Luther King, Jr. emerged from an oppressed class, yet rose above and transformed his own tribal anger and pain to give clear hope for social change without violence.
I am honored and excited to share this message with the University of Michigan.
INSPIRING tribute to MLK by Artist Erik Wahl from The Art of Vision on Vimeo.