To Honor a King: MLK on Globalization

This Monday, January 18th, 2016 the United States of America honors civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for his work to promote racial and economic equality. Dr. King is most commonly know for promoting peace and unity but in his 1967 Christmas Eve Sermon he shares his views on our interconnectedness through commerce. Read this excerpt below:

“It all boils down to this: That all life is interrelated. We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied into a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. We are made to live together because of the interrelated structure of reality.

Did you ever stop to think that you can’t leave for your job in the morning without being dependent on most of the world? You get up in the morning and go to the bathroom and reach over for the sponge, and that’s handed to you by a Pacific Islander. You reach for a bar of soap, and that’s given to you at the hands of a Frenchman. And then you go into the kitchen to drink your coffee for the morning, and that’s poured into your cup by a South American. And maybe you want tea: that’s poured into your cup by a Chinese. Or maybe you’re desirous of having cocoa for breakfast, and that’s poured into your cup by a West African. And then you reach over for your toast, and that’s given to you at the hands of an English-speaking farmer, not to mention the baker.

And before you finish eating breakfast in the morning, you’ve depended on more than half of the world. This is the way our universe is structured; this is its interrelated quality. We aren’t going to have peace on earth until we recognize this basic fact of the interrelated structure of all reality.

Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial, Washington D.C, U.S.


“Out of the Mountain of Despair, A Stone of Hope”

The core focus of this sermon excerpt is that as consumers we must rely on and value people from around the world. This interrelation is not only seen in our food system, but also in the fashion industry. We can honor Dr. King’s wishes for peace and unity through supporting fashion that respects all the people who contribute to its production and eliminates its negative impact on the planet.

Listen to the MLK’s full Sermon HERE

Here are some ideas for how to use your day of service to make Dr. King proud.


About the Author

Chelsey Lowe believes in the power of business to create sustainable, impactful, and positive social change. She is currently a Resident in Social Enterprise, developing strategy and coordinating business operations for the Social Enterprise Alliance Chicago Chapter. Chelsey holds a B.A. in Political Science and Geography/Urban Studies from Temple University.

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