Using MLK's words to dream further

By Jillian Marshall

August 28, 2013 Updated Aug 29, 2013 at 12:30 AM EST

(WBNG Binghamton) A half a century ago, Martin Luther King Jr.'s message inspired millions. His 50-year-old message continues to ring true today, stretched beyond race into other communities that have faced discrimination.

Mary Clark was 6 years old when King made his legendary speech in 1963. Today, Clark tries to make a difference of her own in Citizen Action, where she fights for equal rights and immigration reform.

"I was a little kid and I watched it on television and I watched everything that was happening with the Civil Rights movement, I said 'Wow, it makes a difference,'" Clark said.

The Regional Director of Citizen Action says she often calls to the "I Have a Dream" speech for motivation.

The LGBTQ community also uses King's words as motivation.

Sean Massey, associate professor at Binghamton University, says the gay community has used King's words as inspiration when marching for marriage equality in Albany.

Massey says although Sodomy Laws were overturned and Don't Ask Don't Tell has been terminated, there's still many steps to take until members of the LGBTQ community are truly seen as equal.

"We need to work for employment nondiscrimination across the country and we need to make sure equal protection applies to us," Massey said.

Both Clark and Massey hope Dr. King's words will continue to motivate people over the next 50 years.

"We need to continue to be out there working, working for the dream that Martin Luther King had," Clark said.

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