We Carry on Dr. King’s Fight

Fifty-one years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. traveled to Memphis to help rally the community around 1,300 AFSCME sanitation workers who had gone on strike.

Ultimately, Dr. King's show of solidarity — his leadership in the struggle for dignity and respect for all working people — cost him his life on April 4, 1968. On the anniversary of Dr. King's assassination, we honor him by continuing to fight for civil rights, social justice and the freedom of all working people and their families.

The striking Memphis sanitation workers marched under a simple banner, a powerful statement of their humanity: I AM A MAN.

Last year, AFSCME launched I AM 2018, a campaign not just to commemorate the Memphis Sanitation Strike of 1968, but to issue a powerful call to action — to be the change in our communities for civil, labor and human rights. Thousands of people came to Memphis last April to recommit to the values that members of Local 1733 fought for — and Dr. King died for.

I AM is ongoing. In the year to come, we will continue to find inspiration in the sacrifice of Dr. King. We will continue to summon the courage and resilience of the sanitation workers, lifting up their stories as a source of strength.