Celebrate Peace this Martin Luther King Jr. Day
This year, we celebrate the rich legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on January 15. His activism and philosophy are rooted in unity and connection of all people regardless of their background. We are inspired by the repercussions of his actions and their reverberations that we still feel today, more than 50 years after his passing.
In his 1967 speech “Where do we go from here?” delivered at a meeting of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, an organization founded by Dr. King, he stated “The plant of freedom has grown only a bud and not yet a flower.” His words still ring true today, even with the massive strides we have made towards equality for all Americans. There is always more we can do to support our fellow Americans, and we aim to foster a culture of gardening that emphasizes and strengthens the power of our communities nationwide.
In the spirit of Dr. King’s legacy of peaceful protest, International World Peace Rose Gardens planted a rose garden in 1992 at the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Park located in Atlanta, Georgia. There are four other rose gardens created by this inspirational organization spread across the globe to encourage peace among all global citizens. The garden in Atlanta is especially notable because the rose is the national flower of the United States. The site combines the beauty of King’s imagined future with the notion of the American Dream and shows us that all people can enjoy liberation through engagement with the natural world.
As unrest and inequality continue to plague society, it is important to focus on unity and our shared humanity. Actions like gardening bring beauty to the world, and our admiration of all nature has to offer can be a unifying force to spark change. Community gardens proliferate around the country and gardening programs are popular in schools. Clearly, gardening brings people together time and time again. By reflecting on and living by Dr. King’s philosophy, together we can make the bud of freedom bloom into something more beautiful than we could have ever imagined.