Twin Cities residents share how they are living Dr. King’s dream today

sound off

Sound Off: As we celebrate and reflect on King’s ongoing legacy, the MSR took to the streets to find out how various community members are working to live out his dream today.

Interviews were conducted by MSR contributors Onika Nicole Craven, Solomon Gustavo and Chris Juhn.

Cheniqua Johnson

Cheniqua Johnson, 23, district outreach coordinator for Hennepin County Commissioner Angela Conley — Worthington, MN

I am living out MLK’s dream by having faith in and dedication to God’s work. As a public servant, I understand that many spaces I have had the privilege of being in were not designed for me or my community. Each day we make history. Each day we break systematically oppressive barriers, we make Martin Luther King, Jr.’s sacrifice and dream fruitful.

Andrea Jenkins

Andrea Jenkins, 58, City Councilmember — Minneapolis

I’m living out his dream as a voice for the voiceless [and] bringing forward the issues of poverty and inequality and how those things are continuing to negatively impact people of color, African Americans, and poor people. One of the tenets that Dr. King really stood on was anti-poverty, and that’s the work that I’m continuously trying to move forward.

Joyce Marrie

Joyce Marrie, founder, CrossRoads Panorama — Richfield

The true meaning of what it means to be free [is] sharing my creativity to a world that hurts for LOVE!

Samantha Shepherd

Samantha Shepherd, 53, PSC — Minneapolis

Waking up thankful as I have the opportunity to live life as equal to the next person through education [and] knowledge, yet continuing to fight for respect for myself, my children, and every Black and Brown person in the world.

Maya Bird

Maya Byrd, 25, special education para — Brooklyn Park

I am living out King’s dream by remembering the importance of equality and instilling that in my kids. Like myself, they know the importance of accepting and welcoming people of all backgrounds.

Joe Davis

Joe Davis, 32, poet and teaching artist — Minneapolis

My work is to empower students of all ages to creatively use their voices speaking out against injustices and to build what King called the “Beloved Community.”

Jiccarra Hollman

Jiccarra Hollman, 27, founder, Living on Purpose, LLC — Minneapolis

I see myself as a changemaker, activator and leader. At least once a month I get to put on the uniform of the nation and be a part of something bigger than myself. I am also living his dream by living the most free life that I can while making and creating opportunities for myself and others and keeping an open heart and open mind to all.

Kevin Edwards

Kevin Edwards, 34, food prep — Minneapolis

I’m living the best way possible I can by being positive and treating everybody with kindness. I’m a Christian, and I live life according to how the Bible says. I just try to be positive.

Jason Griffin

Jason Griffin, 44, security — Minneapolis

Martin Luther King’s dream laid the brick of tolerance for the foundation for this society so we can stand on it today and celebrate ourselves as Black people.

Malik Peer

Malik Peer, 48, equity and outreach specialist — Minneapolis

I’m working to interrupt the historical programming and social conditioning that will raise consciousness to create a more equitable and just educational system.

Tracey Gibson

Tracey Gibson, statewide director for recruitment, retention and affirmative action for Minnesota Management and Budget — Brooklyn Park

Martin Luther King Jr. provided a voice for social change. Today, I am a voice and an advocate where there are inequities and injustice. I do this with dignity, respect and love to create equality for all.

Trey Bell

Trey Bell, 42, fire demolition specialist — Burnsville

I am pursuing peace and unity with everyone in a patient and compassionate way.

How are you living out Dr. King’s dream? Join the conversation in the comments below.