I find it no coincidence that we gather on the week following the commemoration of the 43rd anniversary of the assassination of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Memphis, Tennessee, where he was meeting to speak on behalf of garbage workers who sought the ability to collectively bargain. They wanted, like you, to sit down at the table and discuss wages, benefits, a safe work environment, not only for the middle class, but for all classes of people. Four decades later, we find ourselves gathered here on our state’s steps — we find ourselves today right back where we thought we would never return. Then it was for Black garbage workers; today it is for educators, who have the minds of our children in their hands, police officers and fire personnel, who protect and ensure our safety, and industrial and government workers, who keep our state afloat. . . . It’s up to you. It’s up to you. You cannot be silent any longer. It’s time for you to shout. . . . No more sitting down, but it’s time for you to take a stand. As a matter of fact, do not just stand — baby, you’ve got to march. You’ve got to march until you’re heard. . . . March like mighty armies in defense of what we know is right. March, I tell you, and when you march, there will be a change.
The Reverend Doctor Victor M. Davis has served as the Senior Pastor of the Trinity Baptist Church, Columbus, Ohio since August of 1997. Video by the Columbus Education Association. The text above is an edited partial transcript of the Reverend Davis’s address. For more information about the campaign, call 614-224-8271 or visit <www.weareohio.com>.