CRCC’s Najuma Smith-Pollard was featured on CBS2 and Spectrum News 1’s “In Focus SoCal” to talk about how Los Angeles communities are continuing the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Speaking of about his visits to Los Angeles, Smith-Pollard said that his visits following civil unrest in 1965 were critical:
“Southern California represents a place, people tend to think we’re not facing the same kind of challenges in other parts of the nation. Unfortunately, Southern California has been plagued with racism and plagued with injustice, and so Dr. King’s visit to Southern California affirmed for those that were dealing with the struggles that they were seen and heard as well.”
Asked what issues King would address today, Najuma pointed to the the racial inequities and racism in our health system, revealed by the pandemic. She continued:
There’s a huge wage issue, a wage war, that I believe Dr. King would also be addressing and that faith leaders like myself and other continue to address and need to address. Because when people are left in poverty and poverty is reeking through the communities, then it also makes people in communities vulnerable to other issues, to include health, to include a person’s mental health, to include violence. All these systemic issues, a lot of the core is the economics. People not being able to access resources, access care. So one of the things I do believe needs to be largely addressed in this present age is our wage issue, economics.