On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

A message from Dee Atkins

As our country prepares to remember Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., I reflect on his legacy with immense gratitude for his service and commitment to civil rights and racial justice.

Dee AtkinsSince I started my new role here three months ago, Thresholds staff have shown both incredible welcome, and a sincere and unwavering dedication to our service and our mission. I have developed an admiration for Mark Ishaug’s authentic leadership, and how he—and truly the entire organization including our fabulous board of directors led by Dr. Suzet McKinney—models a deep and genuine commitment to social justice.

Thresholds is taking a persistent approach to addressing inequities in communities of color throughout Chicago. However, rather than a challenge, we see it as an opportunity to create transformational change. We all use Dr. King’s life of service to guide us along this path toward making equal justice a reality.

Dr. King was a relentless leader and prolific speaker who was on a mission to challenge racism and advocate for change. What I find most inspiring was his vision—literally—that change would come. Although he did not live to see the impact of his activism, the country has taken notice by celebrating his legacy with a national day of recognition. This means we are all invited to remember and recommit to the values of Dr. King and that alone, is a reason to stand firm on Thresholds’ mission to help those living with mental health and substance use conditions, and to break the cycle of poverty.

The work we do is rooted in Dr. King’s dream to bring an end to inequality, and I remain hopeful that someday his dream will come true. Thresholds’ spirit of service reflects the principles Dr. King gave his life for. So, as we celebrate the anniversary of Dr. King’s birth, I feel honored to be part of an agency so devoted to “doing for others.”

-Dee Atkins, Chief of Community Engagement and Equity, Thresholds

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