(It would be wonderful if you would share your thoughts in the comments section below.)
Of all the words of wisdom left behind by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the ones that struck a deep and resonating chord with me were those in the passage in which he used the words “flotsam and jetsam.”
With “flotsam” being the wreckage of a ship or its cargo drifting on the sea or washed ashore, worthless things, and making the association to unemployed people ... and with “jetsam” being that part of the cargo thrown overboard to lighten a ship in danger, the famous quote in which these words were used said much about how society and our rulers viewed us then...as now.
“I refuse to accept the idea that man is mere flotsam and jetsam in the river of life, unable to influence the unfolding events which surround him. I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality.”
Those words capture our struggles against tyranny and injustices of all kinds. This is why I fight for fairness, because I refuse to accept the view that any humans should be seen as mere flotsam and jetsam. #iRefuse
My “political life” was launched in the 60s as I watched Dr. King stand for the dignity and the decency of humanity. He pointed to cultural habits that denied equality and equity to too many and he spoke of a road to a future about which I, too, could only dream.
I admired those who were inspired by his words (and their own moral compasses) to actually live the words that end the Declaration of Independence to “mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our Sacred Honor.” Many of them did in fact sacrifice their lives and fortunes in service to the dream.
It is no accident that all these years later I find myself engaged with Coffee Party, an all volunteer band of folks who serve a commitment that Dr. King would recognise.
Coffee Party USA envisions a nation of diverse communities sharing a culture of informed public engagement where our sacred right to vote is the only currency of our representative democracy.
Today and every day I stand in awe of and live in tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
How often do you think about serving others? Your partner? Kids? Parents? What about the wider community? For me, turning MLK Day into a day of service makes sense. We can serve others with kindness in our hearts -- not obligation. We can choose to listen a few minutes longer and make eye contact to renew our connections. For me, MLK represents this spirit of service to a cause larger than ourselves and the courage to do what is difficult or seemingly impossible.
How has the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. impacted your life? What still needs to be done? Please respond (briefly) by commenting below.
Thank you for your interest in volunteering with Coffee Party USA. We are a trans-partisan grassroots organization whose mission is to bring civility to our national political discussion. You can view our goals here.
About volunteering at the national level:
The Coffee Party is a little different from other volunteer organizations. The Coffee Party believes in building a strong sense of community and collaboration, while bringing forth the best ideas from our volunteers: some of our best campaigns and ideas have come from volunteers. For example, our end state goals, the foundation of many of our actions, came about simply because a volunteer brought the idea to a conference call. Our soon to be announced voter registration campaign was also the idea of one of our volunteers. So bring your ideas, your talents, your skills and your enthusiasm.
The volunteer sign up process has a few steps. As you move through them, you can learn more about how we work and what we need.
Volunteer work at the national level is not location specific. Our work on the national level is done via weekly, bi weekly or monthly video and/or teleconferences and online in Facebook and Google Drive. The work is divided by work groups, so you will be asked to pick a group that suits your interest, skills or schedule. To see our national volunteer opportunities, click here
We ask that all our volunteers at the national level are members of Facebook and can attend most of the conference calls held by the group they choose (schedule varies by group). Some aptitude and/or confidence in working online will go a long way to assure that you will be able to contribute to projects.
If you’d like to help at the national level, read on!
Become a volunteer in a few simple steps!
Check out our opportunities and pick something that fits your interest or schedule. We have a number of Work Groups (divisions) that support our organization. Please see the descriptions of our work groups here.
Fill in the form below. Full street address, email address and phone are required. Please do not opt out of emails or we will not be able to communicate with you. Be sure to check the boxes for our Civility Pledge and Non Disclosure Agreement. Use the Comment field to tell us about your interests, skills or preferred Work group or groups. (see link above)
Look for an email from Coffee Party Volunteers with your invitation to complete the last few steps of the signup process. (If you do not receive it within a few hours, please check your spam folder.)
Civility Pledge and Agreement of Non Disclosure - Please make sure to check both boxes:
Civility Pledge: As a member or supporter of the Coffee Party, I pledge to conduct myself in a way that is civil, honest, and respectful toward people with whom I disagree. I value people from different cultures, I value people with different ideas, and I value and cherish the democratic process.
Non Disclosure Agreement. In connection with your volunteer work, Coffee Party USA may provide you with access to portions of Coffee Party USA’s lists of supporters that contains personal information including but not limited to e-mail addresses and telephone numbers; and with access to other non-public information maintained by Coffee Party USA, all of which is “Coffee Party USA Confidential Information.” You agree that you will not make use of or disclose any Coffee Party USA Confidential Information for any purpose whatsoever other than as needed for the performance of your volunteer services for Coffee Party USA. You also agree that all documents, files, conversations, information shared, participation in online discussions and lists relating to the operations and/or activities of Coffee Party USA, whether gathered by you or any other person, are and shall remain the sole and exclusive property of Coffee Party USA.
Become a volunteer
As a member or supporter of the Coffee Party, I pledge to conduct myself in a way that is civil, honest, and respectful toward people with whom I disagree. I value people from different cultures, I value people with different ideas, and I value and cherish the democratic process.
Coffee Party USA is a grassroots,transpartisan movement that aims to restore the principles of our republic and spirit of a representative democracy in America. It started on Facebook as a popular fan page in January 2010 and has since blossomed into a national 501c4 non-profit organization with a network of nearly a million people.