Senator Reverend Warnock, who also serves as Senior Pastor at Dr. King’s Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, implored Americans to maintain hope, use their voice to complete Dr. King’s unfinished business, create a beloved community
Senator Reverend Warnock joined ABC News’ Linsey Davis to reflect on the unfinished work of Dr. King and how we can keep his dream alive – WATCH THE INTERVIEW HERE
Alongside Renee Montgomery, Killer Mike, and Isiah Thomas, Senator Reverend Warnock joined NBA on TNT to discuss how we can continue to advance Dr. King’s legacy – WATCH HERE
Senator Reverend Warnock on NBA TNT: “[Dr. King] had a higher vision about who we could be if we stood together”
Senator Reverend Warnock speaking to USDA employees and leadership: “It is only fitting that we honor Dr. King and advance his unfinished work by serving our fellow Americans. Every day, the professionals at USDA are fulfilling this mission. You are bringing Dr. King’s vision to life, finishing what is unfinished, through your dedicated commitment to service”
ICYMI from the Atlanta Voice: Annual IBEW breakfast honors MLK and promotes strength of organized Labor
Washington, D.C. – In honor of the national Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, U.S. Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA) shared a message of hope and perseverance, calling on Americans in Georgia and across the country to keep the faith in defending our democracy and protecting the freedom to vote. In a series of conversations and events examining Dr. King’s life and legacy, including with acclaimed sports and music stars, Georgia labor and community leaders, journalists, federal employees and policy experts, and many others, Senator Warnock reflected on how Dr. King’s work inspires his own service, and reiterated the work that remains to realize Dr. King’s dream of equal justice for all.
Senator Warnock kicked of the holiday weekend on Wednesday, January 17 with employees of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) as the keynote speaker at the Department’s 2024 Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service Celebration in Washington. After meeting with Deputy Secretary Xochitl Torres Small and other USDA staff, the Senator spoke in recognition of the USDA employee’s commitment to service and their role in continuing the work of Dr. King.
“Combating poverty was a core tenet of the Poor People’s Campaign that Dr. King was organizing at the time of his assassination. USDA’s nutrition programs are important tools in our arsenal to combat poverty. Yet, these nutrition programs are under attack by craven politicians looking to score cheap political points. […] However, Dr. King understood as I do that we can’t solve our nation’s collective problems until we can look into the eyes of other people’s children and see our own. That’s why these nutrition programs are so key to our country’s success: the fate of other people’s children is inextricably tied to the fate of our own. So, our service on this front continues, but we should be fortified in knowing that we are advancing the mission Dr. King started so long ago.”
WATCH Senator Warnock’s full keynote address HERE.
Above: Senator Warnock addresses USDA employees in Washington, D.C.
The following day, Thursday, January 18, Senator Warnock participated in a forum hosted by the Aspen Institute in Washington, featuring bestselling author and King biographer Jonathan Eig and moderated by Aspen Institute Vice President Anne Mosle, where the Senator reflected on the lessons Americans today should take from King’s humanity and perseverance against adversity and state-sponsored surveillance in pursuit of justice.
“There’s a way in which we tell ourselves a simple story about the movement: that there was segregation, Dr. King had a dream, everybody got it, and now we’ve lived happily ever after. And it’s much more complicated than that. We’re in the midst of a huge backlash right now from those who want to erase this history. This is why this kind of work and research is so important – so that we remain vigilant in doing the work to which he committed his life,” the Senator told the live and virtual audience of hundreds.
Watch the conversation HERE.
Above: Senator Warnock speaks with Aspen Institute VP Anne Mosle and author Jonathan Eig
On Friday, January 12, Senator Warnock joined members and leaders of the North Georgia Labor Council for their annual MLK Jr. Breakfast in Atlanta, where he highlighted Dr. King’s pursuit of economic justice, and how the labor movement continues his work to recognize the dignity in all labor, close the racial wealth gap, and secure better wages and working conditions for all working people.
“Organized labor represents democracy in the workplace. It means fighting against tax cuts for the richest of the rich on the backs of the working poor. And it means fighting to ensure workers can band together for better wages and working conditions on the job and fighting back against partisan efforts to make it harder for them to organize. And I won’t sugarcoat it. Change comes in fits and starts. Sometimes we take a step forward, sometimes we take one or two steps back, but we know that progress is possible because we saw what the UAW and auto workers across the country did last year. We know progress is possible because we got the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law done, which created over 600,000 construction jobs nationwide and invested over $9 billion in Georgia. And there is more coming. We know that progress is possible because we passed the Inflation Reduction Act that will support more than 1 million jobs in energy and related manufacturing sectors over the coming decade. So if you remember Dr. King, let us remember Dr. King’s words–he said that anybody can be great because everybody can serve,” Senator Warnock told the crowd of local labor and community leaders.
Read more in the Atlanta Voice.
Above: Senator Warnock takes part in the North Georgia Labor Council MLK Breakfast
Senator Warnock observed the King holiday on Monday, January 15 in conversation with national journalists and notable Georgia figures about the enduring work to make real Dr. King’s work the create the beloved community.
In an interview with ABC News’ Linsey Davis, Senator Warnock said, “This work is a work in progress. In fact, Dr. King, when he reflected on his own work, used to talk about it in terms of unfinished business. And there is no question that his work has changed the world. I was born a year after Dr. King’s death. The year I was born, Georgia was represented by two segregationist senators. They were effective, but they were segregationists. And, one of them said that we loved the Negro in his place, and his place is at the back door. Well, I sit in his seat, and that is a result of Dr. King’s work, and yet there is so much more work for us to do.”
Above: Senator Warnock speaks with ABC News’ Linsey Davis on Dr. King’s legacy
“You cannot honor Dr. King while at the same time denying God’s children access to fair housing, dealing with the issue of job discrimination in this moment, [and] dealing with the issue of voting rights. If you would remember him, you cannot allow those who would dismember his legacy to do so without real resistance. And that’s work I’m committed to every single day in the United States Senate, in my pulpit and in the streets,” the Senator continued.
Watch the interview HERE.
The Senator also joined SiriusXM’s The Clay Cane Show, where he echoed his message to host Clay Cane, and highlighted how King’s leadership continues to inspire his work across various issues to serve all Georgians in the United States Senate.
“I think a lot of your listeners did not know we did $136 billion of student debt relief. If you talk about the racial wealth gap, if we can find a way to get more of that, we would go a long way in doing the work Dr. King is talking about all those years ago when in his last push he was focused on the Poor People’s Campaign and building what he called the beloved community. I am honored to do that work on behalf of the people of Georgia every single day,” Senator Warnock said to Cane.
Watch the interview HERE.
Above: Senator Warnock joins an NBA on TNT special titled “Unfinished Business”, alongside Renee Montgomery, Killer Mike, and Isiah Thomas
Senator Warnock closed out the holiday by joining Atlanta Dream co-owner and former WNBA star Renee Montgomery, award-winning musician and activist Michael “Killer Mike” Render, and NBA icon Isiah Thomas for a televised roundtable discussion for the King holiday titled “Unfinished Business,” which aired as part of NBA on TNT’s programming. During the roundtable, the Senator reiterated the moral urgency of passing voting rights legislation as key to preserving democracy and making progress for all.
“We are still in a fight for voting rights now. I think folks look at me sitting here, the first Black Senator for the state of Georgia, I think it is important to recognize that after I won the first time, they looked at the anatomy of our victory, and there are those who came with surgical precision trying to ensure it would not happen a second time. And what we have to do now is pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. Nothing less than our very democracy is at stake,” said Senator Warnock. “When we talk about voting rights, I’m so passionate about it because it is not just an issue alongside other issues. It is the very framework in which we get to fight for everything that matters.”
Watch the full conversation HERE.