I was 8 years old when President Ronald Reagan signed into law a bill creating a national holiday to honor the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I was 10 years old when our country observed Martin Luther King Jr. Day for the first time.  Fifteen years later, Utah became the 49th state to finally recognize MLK Day. Yes, you read that right. I have always felt a certain kinship to Dr. King. I have always felt that it is my responsibility to continue his dream, that our people can have the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness. My dream is to have Dr. King’s dream come to fruition. This effort is the entire reason I became involved in activism. What I have learned along the way is that many feel that same kinship and have that same dream. 2020 was a call for social justice and a call for change. It was beautiful and, quite frankly, humbling to see people of all races and creeds who were willing to stand up for black lives. The backlash we received also shows that not everyone understands. We were called communists, race baiters and Marxists — the same words used to describe Dr. King during the civil rights movement. Most of us know Dr. King’s 1963 speech, “I Have a Dream.” It is one of his most quoted speeches by politicians and public figures. What is forgotten is that in 1966, two years before his assassination, the Gallup poll had listed Dr. King was one of the most hated men in America. We must all remember that Dr. King did what he did while faced with constant hatred and death threats. He withstood fierce opposition from many of the same types of people who tweet his quotes on one day of the year, but work to the remaining 364 days to undermine everything he fought and ultimately died for.  “I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Council-er or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to ‘order’ than to justice.” Dr. King wrote in an essay, Letter from Birmingham Jail. “Who prefers a negative peace, which is the absence of tension, to a positive peace, which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: ‘I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action’; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a ‘more convenient season.’” Dr. King wrote this over sixty years ago, yet it reads as if it were written last week. Fifty-three years after his murder, I come to the conclusion that we may still have a lot of work to do, but we must continue forward. We must continue to fight the good fight until we all have a seat at the table.  I have few answers on how we get there, but I told my 10-year-old that, “no matter how tired he gets he must still fight even after I am gone.” He knows he must fight for the dream. Dr. King would expect nothing less. — by Pam Mares