Today, the Indianapolis Jewish Community Relations Council, which is the Jewish community’s public policy, civil rights, interfaith, and intergroup relations arm, joins all Americans in commemorating the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on April 4, 1968 in Memphis.
As we reflect on Dr. King’s unparalleled leadership and clarion voice, we express our deepest respect for his memory and the legacy that calls us to continue confronting the systemic civil rights challenges that persist today, from safeguarding voting rights, to criminal justice reform, to poverty alleviation.
The JCRC also recognizes the unique historic connection that the City of Indianapolis has to the tragic events of April 4, 1968, as thousands gathered at the park at 17th & Broadway to hear Senator Robert F. Kennedy speak on the presidential campaign trail, only to learn from him that Dr. King had been assassinated. The words Robert F. Kennedy spoke that night in Indianapolis, which were direct, empathetic and revealing, and managed to elevate the crowd to a place of reflection and love, are engraved over his memorial at Arlington National Cemetery.
Fifty years later, the JCRC continues to find inspiration from Dr. King’s message, leadership, and moral courage, as we build broad coalitions among diverse ethnic and faith communities, and advocate collectively for social and economic justice