January 2, 2017 by Administrator

It’s only fitting that our nation celebrates Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as the first official holiday after the new year because it sets the tone for honoring King’s vision and principles throughout the year. On the eve of his death, King continued to call for unity, for “dangerous unselfishness,” and for readiness and determination “to make America what it ought to be. We have an opportunity to make America a better nation,” he said in his last speech, “I See the Promised Land.”

Having made tremendous progress in fighting racial injustice, King’s next big ticket item was realizing economic justice. He was in Memphis, where he was assassinated on April 4, 1968, calling for economic withdrawal or boycotts in support of the rights of public sanitation workers. There, he also called for strengthening black institutions and growing an economic base to further leverage power structures.

While many remember King for his protests, he often outlined a very clear agenda: 1) ask for fair treatment; 2) withdraw economic support when fair treatment is not offered; 3) protest non-violently to bring heightened awareness of the issues; and, 4) negotiate a fair and peaceful resolution.

In that prophetic speech, King said he knew others would have to finish the work he started but that he also knew the work would be finished: “I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land.”

Despite many efforts since King’s death, economic justice remains elusive in America and globally. A recent 2017 Oxfam study revealed that eight of the world’s richest people, including six Americans, own as much combined wealth as half of all humans. Last year, another study declared that the wealth gap between black and white Americans is so extreme that it would take 228 years for black people to obtain on average what white families have today.

To help realize King’s dream, the dfree® financial freedom movement both addresses issues of individual financial fragility and fights unjust economic practices such as predatory lending. It is a transformational movement that helps people obtain financial stability and security so they, in turn, can focus on purposeful contributions to society.

The dfree® financial freedom movement is moving about the country in 2017, physically launching regional conferences in California in March and virtually through new social media opportunities. Let’s Move Forward Together. Learn more: mydfree.org #dfree

DeForest B. Soaries, Jr., author of Say Yes to No Debt: 12 Steps to Financial Freedom, is the senior pastor of the First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens in Somerset, New Jersey and is the architect of the dfree® financial freedom movement.