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WASHINGTON – Today, in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Damon Hewitt, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, released the following statement: 

“Dr. King’s legacy is one of resilience and unwavering courage in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles. He showed us that a sense of moral clarity and resistance to racism in all its wicked forms can cut through politics, fear, and complacency alike. Through his leadership and the collective efforts of countless civil rights activists, our country experienced what many call a Second Reconstruction, where the lofty ideals written into our founding documents finally had the opportunity to be realized for everyone. 

As we begin this significant year–which will be marked by a crucial presidential election–fighting back against voter suppression and attacks on diversity and inclusion, and battling bans on truthful books and curriculum, we are once again at a pivotal moment for our democracy.

We cannot afford to be paralyzed by fear, overwhelmed by the moment, or resigned to defeat. We must summon the same courage and moral clarity Dr. King exhibited to bring forth another awakening—a Third Reconstruction—to ensure that the promise of Democracy can ring true now and for generations to come. Through clear strategy and bold action, we can build the future Dr. King envisioned—the future we deserve. There is no better way to honor his legacy.” 




About the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law – The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to mobilize the nation’s leading lawyers as agents for change in the Civil Rights Movement. Today, the Lawyers’ Committee uses legal advocacy to achieve racial justice, fighting inside and outside the courts to ensure that Black people and other people of color have the voice, opportunity, and power to make the promises of our democracy real. For more information, please visit