A Reflection On MLK Day

This blog post was written by Jake Lasseter, our Patrol Member, as a part of a reflection of Martin Luther King Day and the interconnectedness between us all. 

It is important that this day be given the attention that it very well deserves. Today serves as a day of remembrance and respect to the life and work of Martin Luther King, Jr. MLK saw that civil rights for African Americans were absent in America. He led thousands of Civil Rights activists through civil disobedience and peaceful resistance to institute justice for their civil rights. Health was also included in the fight for civil rights. This means that people should have a right to a healthy life through clean food, air, land, and water. So, not only did MLK fight for civil rights, but he also fought for African Americans’ right to a clean and healthy environment.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Civil Rights Movement has given the fundamental backbone to environmental movements worldwide. At the core, the main idea is the fair treatment and involvement of individuals in a society. Environmental justice and advocacy seek to involve all people no matter their race, religion, or sex to implement and enforce environmental laws, regulations, and policies. When the Civil Rights movement was happening, the world was also seeing a change in environmental justice in America. This was when the first Riverkeeper was formed on the Hudson River which eventually paved the way for the foundation of the Waterkeeper Alliance. For all we know, the civil rights movement helped spark the need for Waterkeepers.

MLK protested the poor housing and sanitation conditions of Chicago in the late 1960s which may have been what inspired a lot of early environmental justice movements. All people no matter their race, background, or upbringing have a right to civil liberties and a clean environment.

The goal for the both the civil rights and environmental movements around the world is to initiate change. This can be a change in establishment, government, community, policies, or even education. Education about these issues is paramount to ensure people are not afraid to take action. MLK deserves the esteem that his name carries with it. If it were not for his strides towards a brighter future, although we still have work to do. 


Coosa Riverkeeper

Coosa Riverkeeper is a citizen-based river conservation nonprofit organization whose mission is to protect, restore and promote the Coosa River and its tributaries in Alabama. We patrol the waters, educate the public, and advocate for the river. Learn more about our work by visiting CoosaRiver.org.

Center for Biological Diversity

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.7 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places. Learn more at BiologicalDiversity.org.

Our Children's Earth Foundation

Our Children’s Earth Foundation advocates on behalf of children, who are most vulnerable to pollution, to enable them to breathe clean air and use clean water. Learn more about their work at OCEFoundation.org.

Advance Etowah

Advance Etowah is working for the citizens of Etowah County for a better future. Learn more about their work at AdvanceEtowah.org.

Related Posts

Catch & Release Fishing Tips

Catch & Release Fishing Tips

Catch and release fishing is ideal for so many reasons. Catch and release fishing is ideal for so many reasons. Whether you’ve caught a fish that’s not the right size to keep - it’s under the legal limit, or less likely, it’s too large to fit in your cooler!  Or maybe...

Fishing Basics 101: How to Choose a Lure

Fishing Basics 101: How to Choose a Lure

Casual fishing basics discussion between me, a fishing novice, and Tyler, our Fish and Swim Guide Specialist. He also happens to fish on the Montevallo Bass Fishing Team and runs an awesome jig company! Check out his site Wicked Jigs. If you missed our first...

Fireworks on the Coosa: 2020 Edition

Fireworks on the Coosa: 2020 Edition

In these times of uncertainty and confusion people are looking for anything familiar and others are looking forward to the light at the end of the tunnel. Let fireworks be that light! Each year Alabamaians hit the road to bear witness to magnificent displays of light...

Share This