BIRMINGHAM, Ala., Feb. 1, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Just days after President Obama designated the Birmingham Civil Rights District a National Monument, on the heels of one of the most contentious Presidential elections in the history of the United States, and most recently President Trump's executive order banning refugees from 7 countries from entering the US, The Birmingham Pledge Foundation today announced that it would launch a national initiative, using the combined campaign slogans of the primary Presidential candidates, Making America Greater and Stronger Together, to draw attention to the principles of The Birmingham Pledge and its mission: to end racism wherever it exists, one person at a time. The Birmingham Pledge calls for a personal commitment to recognize the worth of every individual and to treat all people with dignity and respect. Racial prejudice and religious prejudice are often intertwined, and commitment to the principles of The Birmingham Pledge addresses both prejudices. The new initiative is a major component of The Birmingham Pledge Foundation's current Global Awareness Campaign, which has garnered grassroots support of civic, professional and other groups in the Birmingham community. The Campaign calls on individuals committed to the principles of The Birmingham Pledge to "Sign it, Live it, Share it."
Jim Rotch, attorney and author of The Birmingham Pledge, spoke at Birmingham's 31st Martin Luther King Jr. Unity Breakfast in January on the occasion of the 20th Anniversary of the creation of The Birmingham Pledge. Rotch said, "at no time since the creation of The Birmingham Pledge in 1997 has living its principles been more important to our country and the world at large than today. Now---today-- is the time to begin healing the wounds opened by the Presidential election."
Here are the words of The Birmingham Pledge:
I believe that every person has worth as an individual.
I believe that every person is entitled to dignity and respect, regardless of race or color.
I believe that every thought and every act of racial prejudice is harmful; if it is my thought or act, then it is harmful to me as well as to others.
Therefore, from this day forward I will strive daily to eliminate racial prejudice from my thoughts and actions.
I will discourage racial prejudice by others at every opportunity.
I will treat all people with dignity and respect; and I will strive daily to honor this pledge,
knowing that the world will be a better place because of my effort.
Introduced in 1998 at the same Birmingham Unity Breakfast, The Birmingham Pledge has been embraced by people all over the world. It has been written about on bathroom walls, posted in India's Taj Mahal, and signed by famous individuals from all walks of life, from Desmond Tutu to NASCAR legend Bobby Allison. Icons of The Civil Rights Movement, Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, Ambassador Andrew Young, Rev. Joseph Lowery and Southern Poverty Law founder Morris Dees signed The Birmingham Pledge, and have received Lifetime Achievement Awards from The Birmingham Pledge Foundation. Another prominent signer and Award recipient was Nelle Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird. The Birmingham Pledge has been widely utilized as a tool for discussion and reconciliation, opening meaningful dialogues on race and religion at all educational levels.
About The Birmingham Pledge
Influenced by The Civil Rights Movement, The Birmingham Pledge was written by attorney James E. Rotch in 1997, inspiring a grassroots effort to help heal racial strife and end racism in Birmingham, Ala. and beyond. The Birmingham Pledge is a personal commitment to recognize the dignity and worth of every individual and end racism, one person at a time.
It has been adopted by countless thousands of people, on every continent, who recognize that a need still exists for promoting racial reconciliation and harmony. Those wishing to make a personal commitment to practice its principles are encouraged to sign the Pledge, and if they desire, send electronically or by mail to The Birmingham Pledge Foundation for recording.
For information on how to sign The Birmingham Pledge, to conduct a pledge drive in your community, or to volunteer, please contact executive director Misty Tipler at (205)-900-8600, or visit The Birmingham Pledge Foundation's website at www.thebirminghampledge.org.
***Please do not alter the words of The Birmingham Pledge without permission from The Birmingham Pledge Foundation.
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SOURCE The Birmingham Pledge Foundation