The Power of Going Off-Script

By January 18, 2018From the CEO

From the Desk of Jim Morris, President & CEO

Martin Luther King Jr. is annually honored in the month of January for his peaceful leadership toward civil rights in the 1950’s and 60’s. His “I have a Dream” speech has been hailed as a defining moment of the civil rights movement back in 1963. What I particularly love about this influential speech is that the end of the speech that we know so well was partly improvised. According to historical accounts, Mahalia Jackson, the popular gospel singer, yelled from the crowd listening to Reverend King, “Tell them about the dream, Martin.”

I love that while he had a prepared speech, this impromptu request enticed Reverend King to go off-script and share his passion and dream from his heart. It is now the most famous portion of that influential speech.

Greater Indy Habitat for Humanity is a part of Habitat’s worldwide vision to end poverty housing with our efforts concentrated on Hancock, Hendricks, and Marion counties and our international relationship primarily with El Salvador. We have plans for our work this year to provide more housing solutions than ever in our 31st year.

Reverend King likely tirelessly poured over planning and writing his speech for the “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom” on August 28, 1963. Yet, the passion from his improvisation is what has been most remembered. 

We are vigorously working to prepare for 2018. I am confident that our core team will maximize use of our resources to provide the most individuals the joy and stability of homeownership. I wonder, though, which one of you will yell from the crowd like Mahalia Jackson? Who will be that volunteer who will spark us to share our deeper passions? How will we go off-script to love our neighbors this year? What will you do to help someone accomplish their dream?