Arndrea has dedicated her life to serving humanity. This commitment was demonstrated when as a teenager, she volunteered as a candy striper at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital. This early experience of supporting and advocating for those with health challenges fueled Arndrea’s passion to end all forms of pain, inequity and injustice. Over the years, Arndrea has lived her commitment by consistently supporting those who have been marginalized and silenced to find and collectively use their voice for change.
Arndrea and Martin are proud parents of Yolanda Renee who has already become an activist in her own right at age 10. Arndrea and her husband are currently developing The Martin Luther King III Partnership for Equity, Peace and Justice.
John Shegerian: This edition of the Impact podcast is brought to you by ERI. ERI has a mission to protect people, the planet, and your privacy. It is the largest fully integrated IT and electronics asset disposition provider and cybersecurity-focused hardware destruction company in the United States and maybe even the world. For more information on how ERI can help your business properly dispose of outdated electronic hardware devices, please visit ERIdirect.com.
John: Welcome to another edition of the Impact podcast and I am John Shegerian and I am so honored today to have the first time ever in 13 years the great mother-daughter team of Arndrea Waters King and Yolanda Renee King. Welcome to the Impact podcast, both mom and daughter.
Yolanda Renee King: Well, thank you for having us.
Arndrea Waters King: Thank you for having us, absolutely.
John: But it is a total honor and it is a pleasure and we are still living during this Covid-19 tragic period. We are doing this all via technology on Zoom. You are at today in Atlanta?
Arndrea & Yolanda: We are.
John: I am in Fresno, California, but I feel like we are in the same room. So it is really wonderful to have a chance to be together even during these tough times that we get to share a nice conversation and we get to share with our listeners and our viewers a little bit about both of your backgrounds and some of the things that are on your mind right now. With that, Arndrea, I want to ask you a little bit. First, tell us a little bit about your background leading up to marrying your husband and your activism and what you were doing before you got married and what you have been doing since?
Arndrea: Such a loaded question.
John: That is okay.
Arndrea: Since here. No, [crosstalk] been doing. But I am and again. first of all, thank you again for having us. We have been looking forward to this, particularly for the two of us to be able to do this together and have some time with you, John, and your audience.
John: Thank you.
Arndrea: So it is really great. I am an activist. I monitored for many many years hate crimes and hate groups. So, we monitor groups such as the Ku Klux Klan, Neo-Nazi, Skinheads, various white supremacist groups in the mid to late 90s. What made my work a little bit unique is that I actually help communities that have been impacted by these particular groups and my organization was the first organization that looked at the connectedness. So, we were the first organization to monitor hate crimes against black people, against gay, lesbian, transgender, anti-Semitism, anti-Arab, anti-Native American. So, we were the first group to look at the interconnectedness and bring communities together to hopefully do something to as a community to impact in a positive way, in particular after hate crimes had happened in communities. So I organized the first Hate Crime Summit that brought together the various communities and we help communities organize, we help to pass legislation. So that is it in a nutshell. Now, I am happily the president of the Drum Major Institute, which is the organization that was founded by Martin’s father, Yolanda’s grandfather in 1961 and originally was founded, it was the only organization that he founded solely. He and his lawyer, Harry Wachtel, founded it together and the original purpose was to bail out civil rights protesters to raise money for bail so that when they went to jail that they would be able to be released. Now we are bringing the work into the 21st century.
John: That is just so wonderful. Yolanda, tell us a little bit about your background.
Yolanda: Okay. Well, I mean, of course mine is not as detailed. I have only been around for 12 years.
John: Yeah. Hey, I have seen some of your speeches. You have done a lot more than a lot more people I have ever seen in 12 years. So, just share a little bit about what you have been doing and what grade you are in now.
Yolanda: Okay. Well, I am in 7th grade and for as for as long as I can remember, I have had an urge for change. This is what my parents do. This is what I see them do. At a young age, I was taught, I mean, of course my parents always taught me the beauties of this Earth. However, I was also taught and maybe they did not really teach me but I saw the inequalities in this world. I would say maybe when my activism really started and it is just at the very beginning still because I just really started, was I would say, and most people would think during the March for Our Lives. But I would say a couple years before that when I was 7. We were invited to meet the president, which was at the time President Obama. So, we were invited to go to the Oval Office because there was a bust that was newly installed and it was a bust of my grandfather. So, my parents were like, “Okay, since we are seeing the president, we would like you to come up with a good question to ask him. He can help you as well.” I was like, “I think I can figure it out.” So, I was thinking all these and so I asked the president. I said, “Mr. President. What are you going to do about these guns?” That is when everything, I guess that is when I started to become an advocate during March For Our Lives and an advocate because when I was in fourth grade, that was when the tragedy at Stoneman Douglas High School. Yeah, the tragedy occurred then and I was scared that kids my age, kids seven, kids younger than that may be worried about going to school or even people and in general.
Yolanda: My parents told me you want to cautious but you do not want to live your life in fear. It is just scary to see that all these events are causing children to live their life in fear. As I am seeing these events and what happened last summer and just in general, especially children of color, black children as well that even walking in the road or their parents having to tell them, I have seen all sorts of bads. Instead of talking about college, the parents are teaching them certain ways to behave so law authorities, so police do not see you as suspicious. It is heartbreaking. So, I guess for the last, well, I guess my whole life, I feel like I have been a some sort of advocate. But like I said, I would, well, it is a long story, but if you count my first speech, I was four. But when I really started doing work, I was seven. So yeah, there is my first speech where I am like, “Hi, my name is…” It was for my grandmother. It was at the King Center for my grandmother’s, it was her birthday. I was like, “Hi. My name is Yolanda.” I remember the whole speech. I introduced myself and I said that my grandmother said to be our best selves and then I was like, “Happy Birthday, Coretta Scott King.” Then you could hear my squeaky voice. So, but I would say that when it comes to actually making change change, it is been in me for a while my whole life. But since I was seven so about five years ago.
Arndrea: Well, what is interesting too about that story, Yolanda, is that it just dawned on me as a full circle moment because I mentioned that I organized the first Hate Crime Summit in 1997. We brought an activist we had over a hundred partners, with all different types of organizations and we brought activists from all over our nation to discuss this in Atlanta. The keynote speaker for that conference was Coretta Scott King. Kind of a full circle moment of your first question.
John: I want to go back to another question that I have for you, Arndrea. You see my children here above my shoulder. They are both now 34 and 28 and they are both lawyers and they are also both socially-minded. I am always shocked and now my daughter has a little baby girl and what I am always amazed and thought what they–
Yolanda: Say it again.
John: Thank you. So what I see with your daughter is first of all, she looks so much like you. She has your smile and the room lights up. So, how young were you when you started your activism and do you see the same seeds that drove you to be an activist as a young professional in Yolanda? Did you start that young or were you in your teens? Where did yours come from? Was it from your parents? What was the genesis of your activism?
Arndrea: Well, it is I think when people think about activist, sometimes they think kind of there is only one way to participate. Certainly going to demonstrations and doing petitions or that is certainly any type of direct action is one component of activism and a very important component. I also remind people that anytime that you are doing something in service to others, you are doing something in service to something larger than yourselves. That is a tremendous form of activism. I was raised where my mother was always giving. She passed away two years ago and I do not believe she ever attended a march other than the marches that I organized. So, later in her life she attended many marches. But what she always did in our household, she led by example. She was always giving. It was a way of life for her. It was a way of life to think about others to certainly think about those less fortunate. Always she was a huge even though she is a mother, she is a registered nurse and the first black registered nurse in her hometown of Live Oak, Florida.
Arndrea: She always was as full as her plate was. There was always room at our table for someone who was in transition and needed a home. There was always volunteering for groups, whether it was the mentally challenged groups that people did not particularly, in the 80s, I think maybe hopefully things have changed, but groups that people were not necessarily on the front lines of thought. She was also on the frontlines of working with AIDS patients in the 80s. When a lot of healthcare workers, even at that time, they did not understand the AIDS epidemic and they did not want to necessarily even treats AIDS patients. So, she would be the one that would make sure she did a whole curriculum and a video to show nurses in particular how to treat AIDS patients with compassion and she volunteered at showing people CPR or checking blood pressure. So in our household, it was always a normal thing, so I was raised up in that spirit. So it became a natural evolution to continue to look and see ways in which we could all serve society. I think on top of that and then the other part was I was born with it. So, when you combine those two it…
John: Mother that did not just preach it, she actually showed it. She with her action.
Arndrea: Yeah. Absolutely.
John: It is so great that you bring that up, the word “service”. Here, this is my office where I do my podcast. But this is how we make our living here as we are recycling company. I am going to tell you a funny little story that you cannot see in my office actually. When you walk in the front door, we have quotes all over the walls, just like motivational quotes. But when you walk into our offices, there is only one quote over the front door. The quote over the front doors is, “Everyone could be great because everyone can serve.”
Arndrea: Serve, absolutely.
John: That is your father-in-law and your grandfather’s great quote. To me, that is still means the most. Like you said, Arndrea, serving is just and Yolanda, you asked me a great question when we were off the air. I think you should be running this podcast actually. It is a question that made me think even more now that we have been starting to talk. What made you start this and why do you do this podcast? Well, I think once I started reading about your mom and about you and about all the great things you are doing and how you are making the world a better place, I love that you have made guns your issue. Because frankly speaking, I could see how children are scared of guns. I am 58 years old and I have never owned a gun in my life and I am scared of all the gun violence that exists. But I will tell you a quick story. When I was in ’92 and ’93, we lived in LA with my family and we had what was then called the LA Riots. It was a bad time to live in LA because it is just sad to see your own city fighting with each other. But there was a gentleman named Father Greg Boyle who started a company with me, a nonprofit called Homeboy Industries. In Homeboy, what we did is we got ex-gang members from East LA into jobs. But he had a great line that I want you to think about, “Nothing stops a bullet faster than a job.” Now that you ask me that question when we started, I thought back to you. Why am so drawn to your mom and to you and all the important work you are doing because guns were a problem back then and they are a bigger problem now. Hopefully great people like both of you can help reverse that tide and help us go back to a better way of being whatever better means. But I will tell you what, more guns is not a better society. That is for sure.
Arndrea: It takes all of us. One of the things when you were talking about, John, the fact of the quote about everybody can be great because everybody can serve was that from his earliest writings to the time of his death, Martin Luther King, Jr. talked about the beloved community. What we as a family firmly believe is that it is all of us doing our part. We have to become a coalition of conscience and it is all of us doing our part in our own unique ways. The way that you contribute, John, is different than the way that I would contribute, that the way Yolanda will contribute, the way that Martin will contribute, the way that each of your listeners can or will contribute. That is great. The only and the thing is is that as long as we all contribute using our powers and our passion and our talents, it is each of us. As long as we just kind of idolize Martin Luther King and Coretta Scott King and put them on a shelf and really it is we have to find a way to live up to their ideals. It is all of us tapping into our talents and our powers and our passions in our own each unique way that we will indeed create that beloved community. We all have different ways of serving and that is fine, but do it.
Yolanda: To add on to what my mom says and to kind of interpret this or rephrase this, I think yeah, like she said, you should not idolize my grandparents but we should acknowledge and make their teachings because these are really teachings. Most people think, “Oh, it is in a book. It is just document information. Okay, good” But these are actually teachings. These are actually lessons that can be very applicable and should be applicable to our everyday lives.
John: It is so true. Now, did I get this right in my homework about both of you? Are you the only grandchild of Martin Luther King?
Yolanda: That is right.
John: Wow, wait a second. I just want to give a little shout out again for our listeners or viewers who just joined us, we are so honored today to have with us Arndrea Waters King and Yolanda Renee King and two great organizations that they represent today is the Drum Major Institute. You can find the Drum Major Institute at drummajorinst, which is spelled just I-N-S-T.org, drummajor I-N-S-T dot org or MLKing3 with the number 3.com. Yolanda, I got to say this. I was feeling really hopeless the last year or so with the loss of John Lewis, with the loss of Elijah Cummings, Helen Reddy who you do not remember who was a famous singer that talked about women empowerment, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and even Maya Angelou being gone. Then I read and watched all your videos and I watched Amanda Gordon before the inauguration and before the Super Bowl. Now, after watching both of you young ladies, I have a whole new vision of hope because I see who is going to step into the void that exists when those icons like John Lewis and Elijah Cummings and even Ruth Bader Ginsburg has now left us to go on to a better place. I see the young people who are going to step into the next roles of leadership. What is youth in leadership mean to both of you and what is going on now in America in terms of the next generation coming up and stepping up to lead the way to a better society?
Yolanda: Can I answer?
Arndrea: Yep, go ahead.
Yolanda: Okay. So personally, most people underestimate the power and not just a power, what young people are capable of doing. Most people were like, “Oh, let the adults handle this.” They think it is not really a youth issue. If you think about it, in the Civil Rights Movement, the people were not like all, how do I say this without…
Arndrea: Those who were not old? They were all students and young is what you are trying to say?
Yolanda: They were all younger. Yeah. So some of them were my age. I am in middle school, somewhere in high school, somewhere in elementary school. So some of them were around my age when I first started activism like as young as second grade even, I believe. Definitely fourth graders were in it. Third graders were involved, fifth graders. I do not think they had Middle School back then. But they were elementary school students and they were also high school students, they are college students. If you look at all these people like John Lewis during the Civil Rights Movement, they were college students. Also if maybe kids want to be inspired and I would also like to promote this for your viewers in the podcast and maybe for your viewers’ children or young people watching this. That is if you are interested, maybe the congressman or the former congressman has a series of books called March and it is a graphic novel form and it is really informative, really inspiring. It is just like wow, these people really they would do all this so we would be able to go to school together and there is still so much to do. So, I think that could help as a directions guide like when you are putting together something and there is that directions book. I cannot think of the name.
Arndrea: Instruction manual.
Yolanda: Yeah, the instruction. So that is like an instruction manual. Maybe if you want to go out at events, you can look at because I feel this is a very good time for it and maybe even for adults more and young people I inspire you. It is a good challenge and stuff. But maybe even try reading one of my grandfather’s, his last book which he wrote in 1967, I believe. It is called Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community? So, I recommend for people to also read that because that is another, what is it called?
Arndrea: Instruction manual.
Yolanda: Instruction manual.
Arndrea: What is powerful about that is that was his last book.
Yolanda: Yes and that is it. It is like this time.
Arndrea: It is very appropriate this. Yes, like you wrote it yesterday last year. But also what is interesting about that is that is where he left off. Then almost every time I read it, it almost is like and then I imagine him saying okay and here, now you and handing to us the baton to do our part in the race.
Yolanda: Maybe back then when he wrote it, maybe people would have been like uh. But now it is like the missing pieces that have been here. You are finding all the other pieces and it is finally clicking together. So for youth people, I want to inspire and for the really youth component for people that are already doing work, I would like to say congratulations, keep on working hard. For those who maybe are not as appealed or have not or do not know how to enter yet, I would say start with those books, especially for young people. Start with March and also start with that book as well. March by John Lewis and wait, that is March from John Lewis and Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community? from my grandfather, Martin Luther King. Also, I would just like to if people are wondering how can they contribute, it could even be things like or not things where like starting a group of people that are, starting a club for a group of people that have the same passion as you or starting some like you do not even or going to the next rally in your community. I know everything is kind of closed and slowed down because of Covid but once everything opens up, there are always constantly people and I have been part of those that will come into communities and there will be rallies. So, look at those rallies in your communities. There are BLM protest occurring so you can also look at those close to your community. You do not even have to be like most people think, “Oh, I have to be the best speaker,” which is what people say is a road block. It is not involved, but you can do things like you can be an artist. There are people that took pictures, like Gordon Parks and raised awareness about poverty. There are people that wrote poetry and books, such as my Maya Angelou. There are just all these people. There are people that sing like Motown and Stevie Wonder and everybody. So there, you can find your talent.
John: I love it. That is so beautifully said. Mom, what do you think? Arndrea, what about what just happened? We just now for the first time in our lives have a woman vice president, a woman of color, both which is really great. Not only is she half-black, I think but she is also half-Southeast Asian, if I am not…
Arndrea: That is right.
John: Being a mom, being a parent of especially your daughter, which both you and I are, what does that mean to you and what dreams do you have for this little amazing 12 year old sitting next to you that the world is the limit for? I mean it is limitless. The sky is so big right now.
Arndrea: Well, we are getting ready to. We are in the midst of Black History Month and we are getting ready to go into Women’s History Month.
John: Good point.
Arndrea: I think it cannot be stated enough how much it means, representation is so important. Regardless of your political beliefs or aspirations, we all have to celebrate any time history is made in a positive way. So, if you are a woman or you love a woman or you have a female, I mean, there is no way that you cannot be ecstatic and proud of this moment. To live history is it truly is extraordinary. It really is inspirational because when you can see yourself is one thing, I think all parents and teachers and advisers are we always want to and telling our kids about the best that they can be and pushing them or stretching them and that is very important. It is so important to see yourself, which is in a lot of ways what Black Lives Matter, the BLM movement is about. Certainly it is about equality and being treated equally. It also is having a seat at the table at every part of society. You can see that representation there. It really means something. So, I could go on and on about how wonderful of a moment in time. When you really think about it, America, we were behind the curve and that I am celebrating where we are now. But when you think all over the world there have been going back at least 50 years if not more, on every continent but ours, a female in a place of power rather as actually the head of state or the vice president. So the fact that we, so yes, I am celebrating, I am happy, and there is also a part of me that wants to say, “What took so long?”
John: Right. Yolanda, I know this answer will change over time and evolve, but you are so well-spoken and you are such a big thinker already at 12 years old. If you can tell me, “John, here is how the next years ahead of me are going to go.” What is your dream? Is your dream to become a lawyer and an activist and then a politician one day or to become a writer? Or what are you thinking of today when you dream your big dreams about your future?
Yolanda: So, you mean in a more global basis or what I want to do when I grow up personally?
John: Both. Whatever you are thinking about. I want to know what is on your mind.
Yolanda: So well, actually when you said that, I actually do the first thing that you said. When I get older in terms of working in jobs, in my career, I actually do want to be an activist and a lawyer.
John: But both of my children are lawyers. I said be a lawyer first and then you can do anything. My daughter is a women’s rights lawyer or employment lawyer. So I am huge supporter of that, Yolanda. I think that is a great choice. That is just me. I do not know what Mom and Dad said but do not say anything. I did not say anything.
Yolanda: Well, my mom and dad and this is what I love about my family. They encouraged me to do anything that I feel like [crosstalk]
Arndrea: Your passion. What your call to find.
Yolanda: –I want to do. I am going to get back to the question. But they never forced me to become an activist or they never said, “Okay, you have to be an activist.” I kind of just followed it and picked it up myself. So and I think that is what many people misinterpret about activists and children whose parents were maybe activists or whose parents were in a career. So even at a young age, my parents felt, well, now Yolanda we are very proud of you. However, we know that if you do not want to do this, there are other ways you can contribute. We want you to find something that you feel happy about and it is fine. They always motivate me to help and even or in some way help the community and stuff and just help the world. But my vision and my hope and not a hope but one day that is there will be no poverty, especially in this country. The wealthiest nation, would you say the most fortunate? I do not know, but one of the wealthiest nations and you are constantly and maybe now, I leave the house less because of Covid. But I am constantly even before then or even when I go out of the house now in our downtown area of Atlanta and just everywhere. But especially when I am running errands with my parents and stuff and in the downtown area there is constantly always homeless people. It is just heartbroken to see that. So the fact even a few days ago for a big trip we were in Mexico and we were seeing there is some kids. It was a weekend. However, and this was for human rights work, but when we were going there there were children and even though it was during the weekend and stuff, it looked like they were not going and many of them do not go to school because they have to support their families. It is just heartbroken that they cannot finish their education. Maybe they want to be a doctor one day and that requires your first, how many years are we in school, mom?
Arndrea: A lot.
Yolanda: Well, the first consecutive.
Arndrea: That is senior, it is kindergarten through 12th grade.
Yolanda: Yes. Well, it could be different there and even kids here it is common people, you just do not see it as much but your 13 consecutive years of school. If you do not have those years you either have to stay back or and that can be very challenging, especially if the years keep on stacking. If it is one year, you will have to stay one grade, which I guess is that is not as bad. But say, if you have to work for four years straight, imagine all the work and all the school you have to catch up on or five years or six years. There is some kids that may have gone, maybe they dropped out of school in third grade. Even now as they are my age, they still have to work to support their family because taxes has risen or for various other reasons and especially because of Covid all the businesses have gone out of business.
John: Got it pretty lucky, huh?
Yolanda: Yeah, so poverty and of course, I do not need as much as the summary or for this one, gun violence and just abolishing that and even just guns in our society in general. I was shocked. I think a few months ago I learned this that it is easier to purchase a weapon or a gun than it is to get a driver’s license and that is scary. The reason why police, well, there is other reasons why, but one of the reasons why police carry guns is because people carry them. The fact that and this kind of this segues to my next issue. Not just our criminal justice system or not just with just racial injustice like many people in general like many people think. It is the same thing in all countries like many people think that after segregation here, after a Apartheid in South Africa, racism just disappeared like hell. Yeah, just disappeared and that is not true. It is unfortunate it is still here. It is not as severe, I would say. It has gotten much much better. However, they are still far to go and nobody should feel scared to go to places like black kids. Like I said, I saw a commercial the other day and the mom was or not even the other day. It was a few months ago. The mom was talking about how she had a black son who got great grades in school and instead of talking about college decisions when he comes home and I think my parents have seen this one too, she has to kind of talk about or go over with him how to even protect yourself, about how to present yourself in a certain way so you are not seen as a threat to our communities. She is like, “I should be talking about with him about colleges and stuff and it is sad.”
John: That is crazy. It is a different dialogue that is happening in some households comparatively speaking, which just does not make sense in 2021. Arndrea, talk a little bit about the Drum Major Institute, God-willing we are going to get through this crisis. Science is going to win, we are going to get vaccinated. What do you want to do? What is your goal and vision with the Drum Major Institute rest of this year and the years to come?
Arndrea: Well, our goal is to build that coalition of conscience that we talked about. Martin’s father and mother worked on the eradication of what Dr. King called the triple evils of racism, poverty, and violence. What we hope to do is to help eradicate those triple evils through the embracing of the values of peace, justice, and equity. So we are in the process of retooling and expanding our work but it is around those three pillars. So, it will be through public awareness and education so that if you are an activist or if you are a stay-at-home mom or you are an elected official, you can come to the Drum Major Institute and or– Dad, so I thank you. Or if you are a stay at home, Dad, thank you, Yolanda. Or an educator, but you can come to this interactive and Innovative website and get tools and techniques and curriculum to implement in your life. So public awareness or lifting up people in their communities that are doing great work because I think sometimes we think that the problem is too large or what can I do. So we are looking at finding Drum Majors for justice in communities and lifting up those voices so that people can see how they can make an impact. Also with that work, you solidify their work and hopefully connecting people in various ways. We also will are working on public policy. The first two would be the John Lewis voting rights restoration, Voting Rights Act to make it easier right to vote. So we are working on that as well as the George Floyd Policing Act. So we are working on public policy laws and legislations that lift up again the banner of peace, justice, or equity.
John: You have what? You have lawyers and other activists working underneath you back in DC and other places to try to push these initiatives forward, I take it.
Arndrea: Well, what we truly believe in is partnership because we really believe that in order a democratize the King legacy is it is really us all connecting with each other. So we partner with organizations or attorneys or groups that are doing the work because if we can also, one of our fundamental beliefs is if we could use whatever influence we have or to lift up all of the people to help solidify the work in various ways and also shed the light on and acknowledge the work. That is how we, through creating partnerships and collaborations both with us and with each other is how we again is one way of working to build a coalition of conscience and also getting to creating the beloved community.
John: For our listeners and viewers out there to find Arndrea and all of her colleagues and partners at the Drum Major Institute, you go to www.drummajorinst, I-N-S-T, dot org. Yolanda, I watched you at one of your rallies and I saw your Chan and I just wanted to go over this because I want to break it down with you. Spread the word, have you heard all across the nation? We are going to be a great generation. Walk me through that.
Yolanda: So, it is kind of like, how we put? It is like not even a gossip, not even a rumor. But how do I put?
Arndrea: An actual fact.
Yolanda: Yes, sure. Like a healthy gossip and have you heard that there is going to be a word and that we are going to be the greatest generation that will get to the promised land? We are going to be the great generation not just with recognition but we will be the great generation because we will reach the land that we once dreamed of and it will become a reality. It is spread all across the nation and really in this lens and in general all across the world or I could put all across the nations.
John: I showed you this when we were off the air earlier. This was my book that my mom got me among many many other books of great leaders in American history. This was my favorite book. This is the original book. This is 50-something years old now and I often think of your grandfather. When you were talking about how young you are and when you started when you were 7, I still am shocked when I think about how much your grandfather and your father-in-law, Arndrea, actually accomplished because he passed when he was 39. He was so young. So, your youth and you starting so young and how we overlooked in many ways youth. I think focusing in our youth again is so important and I think your words of spreading the word and betting on this next great generation, I think is more true than ever before and I am so glad you are spreading that word and I want to leave it now to both of you to have a last word. Both of you will take a turn before we have to say goodbye. The only thing I want to say before we have to say goodbye, I just need you to make me one promise that one day when we are both all three of us are vaccinated, when I come to Atlanta on business we get to meet one day and have either a cup of coffee or something like that together.
Arndrea: You got it. That is an easy one.
Yolanda: Well, I do not drink coffee. I am a tea drinker.
John: Well, we could drink tea, we could drink cocoa together. it is a great excuse for me to drink some cocoa with you then. I am cool with anything.
Arndrea: No, I will be having coffee. I am a coffee drinker.
Yolanda: A big coffee drinker.
John: All right, that is good. But I want you both to have the last word because the show is all about you and where you are coming from and I want you both to take turns and before we sign off and I want your words to be the ones the last words that our listeners hear.
Arndrea: Would you like me to go first?
Arndrea: You need a moment to think.
Yolanda: I do not want to give you the book. I do not want to give it to you.
Arndrea: Well, what I hope is that we have sparked a conversation for your listeners to have both with themselves and with the people in their lives. I want your listeners to really know that we all can indeed create the world in which we have the courage to believe in. It is people throughout the ages have always continued to come together and push forward for more inclusion, for more expansion and always no matter what it looked like, no matter how many challenges that had to be overcome in the end, love and truth always wins. If love and truth have not won, then the story is not yet over.
John: That is beautiful. Thank you. Yolanda, I am going to give you the last words and then I am going to give a couple of advertisements for your organizations before we say goodbye. But I want you to have the last words here.
Yolanda: Okay, but I would like to say that and I have repeated this for the young people. You can make change. This is not a adult issue. This is not a one standard issue. If you do not believe us, if you do not believe me, you can look at the Civil Rights Movement. The young people, we are like the mascots and even you were mentioning how when my grandfather was assassinated, he was only 39 years old. So, he was not too old?
John: Too old. Because you keep looking at me.
Yolanda: No, [crosstalk]
John: He is older than you, not that old.
Yolanda: No, I am looking at you to say is that considered…
Arndrea: Is that considered old?
Yolanda: No, I am not saying he was old, but I am saying that he is not too old. He was not too old himself. When you think about it, the movement started when he was in his late 20s, early 30s. I would like to say is like I said, be inspired. Now, we have something big which is there are all these accounts on social media trying to raise awareness and especially now I feel social media has became even more important. Well, right now we are talking through a social media, but even social media such as Instagram and TikTok and I do not really know if kids really have Facebook.
Arndrea: You have heard about Facebook?
Yolanda: Facebook and Twitter. You use Twitter to [crosstalk]
John: Yeah, you are right.
Yolanda: The news. They use Facebook. I do not think a lot of kids do not have as much Facebook likely. Facebook is one of the older social media. Okay, well, I know who is that. Well, I am not trying to underestimate it or anything. But just use your social media platforms and use that to look for accounts, there are influencers there dedicating their platform, dedicating their followers to put great and even looking at these big influencers like on TikTok and stuff and you will see that they will put links on their accounts like, “Hey, sign this petition.” So, what I can say is that you can be a big contributor. So maybe you may not have too much time for clubs. There is a site called change.org you can just go in there and my friends will do this and put it on group chats. Like hey, we saw this. They do not make the petition, but I guess they go on there and they maybe spend X amount of minutes signing petitions that they think could help. You could put on your group chats with friends. Hey, can you sign these petitions? Or just going on, I do not know, three times, once a day even, just signing petitions even if it is for five minutes. I do not know too much about it, but I have heard of this extension that you can get on your Google Chrome, maybe on other things as well. But you can get it on your computer and I think every time you open the tab or something, a tree will be planted. So there is all types of who Google stuffs about that and I know especially for those tech savvies out there that will be great for them.
John: Yolanda and Arndrea, both of you, I just want to ask you come back on this show whenever you want to come back and platform any other issues you want. You both are a joy to have on. It was my honor. This is the first time in 13 years I had a mother and daughter and it is not going to be the last and I want you both to come back on together again. For our listeners and viewers and readers, to find Arndrea and to find Yolanda and their dad of course, Martin Luther King III, please go to the Drum Major Institute, drummajor I-N-S-T dot org or MLKing the number three dot com. Both of you have inspired me and our listeners and our viewers today. Both of you have given me more hope that I have had in a long time and both of you are a joy and a pleasure and I am so grateful to both of you for making the world a better place. Thank you for joining us on the Impact podcast today.
Yolanda: Thank you and we will certainly be back.
Arndrea: There you have it. Where is that generation? There you go.
John: I love your certainty and I love your energy. That just makes my day. So thank you both and we are going to have you back and we are going to meet in person one day too as soon as we are all vaccinated.
Arndrea: Absolutely. Thank you very much. Thank you for everything that you do in your role, both with your business and through this podcast. So, we thank you for doing your part in creating the beloved community.
Yolanda: Thumbs up emoji. No, the heart emoji.
Arndrea: The heart, okay.
John: I like that heart emoji. Like Mom says, we can all serve and we just have to serve in the place that we are coming from so she has right.
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