Today we celebrate one of the most inspiring figures in our history. As a young person I remember hearing the voice and the messages of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He was an essential and inspiring voice during a time in the US when we were holding our cultural attitudes and norms up to the light to see if they measured up to the values that we told ourselves we were living by. We discovered of course that they did not, that there was a lot of work to be done to achieve the goals of equality and equal opportunity. During the time of Dr. King’s prominence, I attended PS 192, a public school in West Harlem that was predominantly African American. It felt as if he was speaking to our community directly. Dr. King distilled a vision and an ideal that left a profound imprint on me and all those around me. It offered us a vision that still resonates and motivates us in our personal lives, as citizens and in our professional life. He offered a vision accompanied by the understanding that we had so much work to do, but it was a north star. A guiding light for our lives.
In recent times we have been repeatedly reminded once again just how much work there is to do. How we must keep re-committing to the work that would bring us closer to his vision. In a speech in 1963, Dr. King gave insights that remain applicable: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affected one directly, affects all indirectly.” Here is Dr. King’s address at the Lincoln Memorial (https://www.youtube.com/watch/I47Y6VHc3Ms), where he said, “I say to you today my friends that even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream.”
In spite of the challenges that we face together, and the incredible pain that is experienced by communities and groups of people who historically suffer the consequences of bias, oppression and violence, I am glad to be reminded of the vision. I am glad to be called to recommit to the work we have in common to inch closer to Dr. King’s vision.
The AES is committed to the work. It may take place in places obscured from view. Change may occur in tiny increments that we wish were leaps and bounds, but we are committed. We are committed by the mission statement of the AES to serve ALL our members and all those who are passionate about audio.
I look forward to continuing to work towards an AES that is ever more inclusive and welcome the support and participation of all.
President, Audio Engineering Society
Posted: Tuesday, January 5, 2021