The Jewish Community Relations Council held an annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day program for staff members of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago and its affiliated agencies on Monday, Jan. 21.
The program featured two honored speakers—State Representative Arthur Turner II and Abraham Morgan, who reflected on the life and legacy of Dr. King.
David T. Brown, chairman of the JUF/JF board, introduced the speakers by remarking on how fitting it was that this program coincided with President Obama's inauguration.
"We gather today to reflect on the life and legacy of a man who embodies so many principles that our Jewish community holds sacred," Brown said. "Dr. King dedicated, and ultimately sacrificed, his life in the pursuit of justice, equality and freedom for all. Dr. King also had a profound understanding that Jews and African Americans share a history of both great achievements and great suffering."
Morgan, a Board member of Sinai Health Systems and a past Chairman of the Board of Mt. Sinai Hospital, spoke about a time when Dr. King visited the West Side of Chicago.
"…When he came to Chicago, being who he was—a great civil rights leader, orator, pastor, Chairman of the SCLC [Southern Christian Leadership Conference] and a Nobel Prize winner—what he brought with him was togetherness."
Representative Turner, who represents the 9th Legislative District, home to Mt. Sinai Hospital and the Sinai Health Systems was recently appointed Assistant Majority Leader of the House for the 98th General Assembly. He has been a great friend to JUF, working on a number of state and local issues.
Reflecting on Dr. King's assassination, Turner said: "No one could do anything to prevent the seeds of justice that were sewn by the civil rights from continuing to grow. The man was killed but the dream could not be stopped by any one bullet."
The program concluded with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s historic speech, "I've Been to the Mountaintop." Read the full text of the speech.