Every January, communities across the nation gather to celebrate the life and legacy of a civil rights icon and champion against injustices, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
This year, I had the pleasure of attending the 39th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Breakfast co-hosted by Anne Arundel Community College and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Committee. The event showcased the community leaders who remain committed to furthering the vision of Dr. King and who serve as a voice for the most vulnerable in our county. In addition to celebrating the honorees, attendees received an amazing keynote address from the Honorable Elizabeth Morris, who is the first African American woman to serve as a judge on the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County. Judge Morris’s poignant remarks highlighted the many times in her life that she was confronted with challenges and how she found inspiration from the words of Dr. King to speak up in spite of fear.
In the State’s Attorney Office, we’ve remained committed to the contributions of Dr. King and the many African American trailblazers - both past and present – who selflessly sacrificed their lives by challenging the status quo to create a more fair and inclusive society. Our office strives to hire a more diverse workforce to represent the community we serve; with fellow Anne Arundel County agencies we’ve worked diligently in creating the Anne Arundel County Gun Violence Task Force, which is a collaborative effort aimed to reduce the gun-related deaths and injuries by identifying it as a significant threat to public health. Click here to read the preliminary report. Additionally, I’ve been a vocal advocate of legislation that would strengthen hate crimes in Anne Arundel County. House Bill 5, sponsored by Delegate Mark Chang, would make it illegal to use a noose or swastika to intimidate an individual or group. While so much has been done, we have more to do.
I encourage everyone to remember those who worked tirelessly to ensure the many liberties we enjoy today as we welcome February, which is Black History Month. We remember the long strides we’ve taken together on the road to fairness, equality and justice, and how we must continue to uphold the dream of Dr. King.
Together, we can!