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JCI Senior Advisor Nolan Rollins' Thoughts on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

The JCI team interviewed our senior advisor Nolan Rollins, who is the former President/CEO of the Los Angeles and the New Orleans Urban Leagues, on the significance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and what it means for the United States at this moment in time.

  • What ideas do you suggest that society reflect upon on this holiday?

This holiday isn’t just about the man but it’s also about the promise of a constitution that declares that all men are created equal. As a society what we must reflect on is that Dr. King’s leadership was all about holding America to its word.

  • What are the biggest misconceptions about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s beliefs?

Dr. King‘s articulation of an America where everyone is judged by the content of their character not by the color of their skin is not one that is about separating or showing differences. It’s actually about the sameness that exists in humanity. His fundamental and principled belief was that we are all equally God’s children and should all benefit from this land of opportunity in a way that race should never be a determinant of a person's value.

  • In what areas do Dr. King’s dreams for racial equality still need to be fulfilled?

Racial equality in our country has been on an incremental journey at best. While there have been strides made overtime we continue to see regression in both opportunity and racial, religious and sexual animus in a time when unity is more important than it ever was.

Nolan V. Rollins is the Managing Director of Mason Avery Co., a boutique consulting firm that specializes in public, government relations and diversity and inclusion strategies. In addition, Rollins is the CEO of SMRT Mouth, a sports related wearable technology company. Rollins is the former President/CEO of the Los Angeles and the New Orleans Urban Leagues’. He is also the former Chairman of the New Orleans Airport and member of the Los Angeles International Airport Board of Commissioners. Rollins has advised Members of the House, Senate, Governors and Mayors thought out the nation for over fifteen years. At his core, Rollins is a builder who believes that the key to stabilizing businesses, institutions and communities, is the development of a solid foundation on which an operational platform can rest.


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