Local activists continue mission of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

Published: Jan. 18, 2021 at 10:20 PM CST
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - America remembered and honored the legacy Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. left behind more than five decades ago on Monday. But even all this time later, local activists say his mission is still not complete.

2020 was a huge year for social justice and civil rights with millions of people around the world spending their summers protesting against racism. Protests also broke out in several places across Nebraska, including all of the Tri-Cities.

Grand Island resident Keren Gutierrez is a founder of the Justice Coalition of Grand Island and one of the organizers of the Black Lives Matter protests from last year.

“It’s still a battle and we just have to try to support black people in their fight for justice because they are human beings,” she told Local4 News. “All humans deserve equality.”

Gutierrez has been a part of that battle and standing up for fellow people of color for nearly a decade now.

“When the Trayvon Martin situation happened, that kind of radicalized me a little bit I would say and opened my eyes to kind of what the world is,” Gutierrez said. “I was like wow that could happen to me. Someone could just see that my skin is brown and kill me without question.”

Activists in Nebraska are fighting for safer and more inclusive communities, continuing Dr. Martin Luther King’s mission from all those years ago.

“We have the responsibility of doing what we can to keep his message alive and doing the work we can to change the communities,” community activist Yolanda Nuncio said.

“Equality for all people should be humanity’s goal,” Gutierrez said. “That makes a comfortable society.”

“We can talk and say we believe racism needs to end, that people need to be treated equally and that we still have certain rights,” Nuncio added, “then as individuals we have the responsibility to do what we can to see that that happens.”

Fighting for equality doesn’t always have to look like a march through the streets. Being an ally can be as simple as not supporting corporations, brands or people who openly discriminate against certain communities.

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