Diane Nash Speaks During MLK Inspirational Weekend

Posted on: 01.21.2016     By: Tiffany Woods

Civil rights activist shares message of love and self-reflection at YMCA MLK inspirational events

The YMCA of South Florida's 12th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Inspirational Weekend of events made a huge impact. As part of that weekend, we held a breakfast in Fort Lauderdale and a luncheon in Miami, plus 22 Day of Service projects across Broward and Miami-Dade counties.

One of the most inspirational things about the weekend was Diane Judith Nash, a civil rights activist best known for integrating lunch counters and organizing the Freedom Rides. She is also a supporter of the Y, and the Y’s initiatives like drowning prevention and growing tomorrow’s leaders.

She may have a quiet demeanor, but she had a powerful message. Mrs. Nash knew Dr. King personally and believed in his dream for unity and equality. She survived during a time of intense hatred and discrimination, and now spends her time sharing a message about love. One of her key messages was, “Energy produced by love helps keep the opponent from perpetuating oppression.” She believes that unjust social systems, negative attitudes and racism are the enemies; but not people.

Diane and Sheryl roundedAs Nash reflected on her fight for justice, she reminded us all that for change to happen, it has to start with us. She shared some inspirational words, “We changed ourselves and decided we were not going to stand for segregation. When you change yourself, the world has to fit up against the new you.” Undeterred by jail time and fierce opposition, Mrs. Nash says she persevered for generations unborn. “Even though we hadn’t met you, we loved you,” she says. And she reminded us that social injustices are still present today, and challenged us to speak up for future generations.

Diane Nash is a true hero. She is a woman who was resolved to resist unfair treatment. She is a woman who refused to let fear subdue her. She is a woman with an important story to tell … a story that needs to be heard.

We still face challenges in today's society, so what are you doing to keep Dr. King's dream alive?