MLK Community Build

The Southside Community Center (SSCC) and the Tompkins County Workers’ Center (TCWC) are proud to announce a joint collaboration in convening a monthly Reading Group focused around Martin Luther King, Jr’s. last book: Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?

Free books are available both from SSCC as well as TCWC. The monthly Reading Group will meet on the second Tuesday of every month from 6:30 to 8 at SSCC for six months to cover the six chapters of the book.

We are limiting the Reading Group to no more than 25 people: please contact the Workers’ Center at 269-0409 if interested to participate.

To see all the details of the MLK Community Build visit mlkcommunitybuild.org.

The Mission of the MLK Community Build

The mission of The MLK Community Build is to engage all sectors of the community in realizing, as King said, that “we are tied in a single garment of destiny.” We aim to have people from all walks of life come together through shared readings, discussions, and events based on the writings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

To get a sense of some of King’s prophetic words surrounding issues of economic justice, here are a few from Chapter 5, Where Are We Going?, where King starts talking about the necessity of insuring a ‘guaranteed minimum income’ as an important step to consider to abolish poverty:

I am now convinced that the simplest approach will prove to be the most effective — the solution to poverty is to abolish it directly by a now widely discussed measure: the guaranteed income.

Earlier in this century this proposal would have been greeted with ridicule and denunciation as destructive of initiative and responsibility. At that time economic status was considered the measure of the individual’s abilities and talents. In the simplistic thinking of that day the absence of worldly goods indicated a want of industrious habits and moral fiber.

We have come a long way in our understanding of human motivation and of the blind operation of our economic system. Now we realize that dislocations in the market operation of our economy and the prevalence of discrimination thrust people into idleness and bind them in constant or frequent unemployment against their will. The poor are less often dismissed from our conscience today by being branded as inferior and incompetent. We also know that no matter how dynamically the economy develops and expands it does not eliminate all poverty.

We have come to the point where we must make the nonproducer a consumer or we will find ourselves drowning in a sea of consumer goods. We have so energetically mastered production that we now must give attention to distribution. Though there have been increases in purchasing power, they have lagged behind increases in production. Those at the lowest economic level, the poor white and Negro, the aged and chronically ill, are traditionally unorganized and therefore have little ability to force the necessary growth in their income. They stagnate or become even poorer in relation to the larger society.

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