Our Quote of the Week is emblematic of the fundamental principles behind the War on Poverty. Sargent Shriver believed that although we may differ in our cultures, lifestyles, and economic status, all of us are equally deserving of dignity and justice, all of us have the right to be empowered and to fully participate as citizens in our society. These principles guided the creation of all of the poverty programs he created through the Office of Economic Opportunity: Community Action, VISTA, Head Start, and many others. It is a testament to the strength of these principles that these programs continue to serve Americans today.
It's also notable that the principles of dignity, citizenship, and justice were central throughout Sargent Shriver's career, from his work in education and civil rights in Chicago in the 1950s to the shaping of the Peace Corps in the 1960s, and in his leadership roles with Special Olympics and in the area of poverty law throughout the decades. The idea that we all ought to be able to fully participate in society while having the freedom to live life on our own terms is quintessentially Shriveresque. The idea is rooted Sarge's faith and sense of social justice, and it is one of the things that continues to make his ideals and his work relevant for us today.