Changing Government

“Governments can remain in power in the face of plague, famine or war, but none has been able to survive revolutions based on demands for human dignity and justice.”
Sargent Shriver | Portland, OR| August 5, 1971

Our Quote of the Week highlights the idea that a political system can withstand internal conflicts and challenges from many sides, but it cannot withstand the union of people coming together to stand up for fundamental human rights.

Speaking these words to an audience of trial attorneys in 1971, Sargent Shriver focused on justice and on his experiences leading the War on Poverty, saying that: “Each human being has a fundamental right to have an influence over the decisions which affect his life.” Sarge added: “This commitment to human problems is crucial.”

The speech we selected for this week’s quote, the Address to the Trial Lawyers’ Association, includes detailed remarks about a “National Institute of Justice.” It is important to note that Sarge’s vision of such an institute was realized with the creation of the Sargent Shriver National Center of Poverty Law in Chicago.

Let’s take up Sarge’s vision for dignity and justice for all. Let’s stand up and demand opportunity, equality, and justice for everyone. If we join together and remain vocal about supporting each other’s basic rights, our leaders will not be able to ignore our voices.

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Peace requires the simple but powerful recognition that what we have in common as human beings is more important and crucial than what divides us.
Sargent Shriver
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