Our Quote of the Week makes a simple but crucial statement about the goals of the War on Poverty, and about the continued importance of those goals for our human family. It reminds us that until every human being has "equality and justice and dignity," we cannot have true peace.
In a passionate 1989 speech to the National Legal Aid and Defender Association, Sargent Shriver stresses the importance of equal access to justice for all Americans. Justice for all was a fundamental tenet of the founding of the United States. And it made up the backbone of Sargent Shriver's work on the War on Poverty. An attorney by profession, Sargent Shriver understood the role of the law and of lawyers in accomplishing the goal of equal justice and opportunity for low-income communities. He therefore created Legal Services to be the program that individuals could turn to if they needed legal protection or representation but did not have the means to pay for it.
We have striven for justice since the founding of our country, but our systems have consistently fallen short in delivering it equally, particularly to the poor. Our Quote of the Week reminds us that until we make every effort to bring equality and justice and dignity to everyone, we cannot achieve our full potential as a society.