A Letter from Dr. Akram Boutros
MetroHealth to partner with Cuyahoga Community College to create a year of programs and other activities aimed at ending the economic inequity that stifles the potential of Greater Cleveland.
Fifty years ago today, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was shot as he talked with friends from the balcony outside his room at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis. The civil rights leader who preached of human dignity and peaceful protest didn’t survive that single bullet. But his message has.
The Rev. King saw that gains in civil rights were not improving the economic condition of millions of Americans. And he began organizing the Poor People’s Campaign, focusing on the basic human needs – a home, a job, food to eat – to survive.
In his speech “The Other America,” which he delivered a year before his death, the Rev. King spoke of a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. He spoke of dashed hopes and dreams, and of despair, desperation and disappointment.
“It is a cruel jest,” the Rev. King told the crowd that day, “to say to a bootless man that he oughta lift himself up by his own bootstraps.”
MetroHealth, with our mission to serve everyone, will honor the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. this year by focusing on economic equity, its impact on the health of individuals and the community and effective solutions to this persistent problem.
Since our founding 181 years ago, we have cared for and about all people. We help them heal, of course. But today, we also connect them to legal help and jobs and food. Today, we spread our help beyond our doors and our 300,000 patients into the community around us.
Our renewed commitment to economic equity will do even more.
And we will have an even greater impact because of partnership and collaboration. I am delighted that the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Humanities Center at Cuyahoga Community College and Tri-C President Alex Johnson are joining us. Together, we will create a year of programs and other activities aimed at ending the economic inequity that stifles the potential of Greater Cleveland.
MetroHealth will begin with a list of programs throughout April, Minority Health Month, which you can see here.
We continue to believe in the dream that Rev. King described, and we still have faith.
And together, with Tri-C, we’re acting on it.
Because, as the Rev. King said, “The time is always right to do what is right.”