WorldRemit reflects on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s legacy of economic empowerment and what it means to migrants in America
Denver, Colorado January 20, 2020 – In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, WorldRemit reflects on the life and legacy of the iconic and inspirational civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (Dr. King) and his timeless message of economic empowerment.
As a leader of the 1960’s Civil Rights Movement, Dr. King was instrumental in securing transformational, political and social change across America. In addition to his legacy of achieving civil and voting rights for all, Dr. King passionately advocated for quality education, accessible housing, job opportunities and economic empowerment.
“The rich nations must use their vast resources of wealth to develop the underdeveloped, school the unschooled, and feed the unfed. Ultimately a great nation is a compassionate nation. No individual or nation can be great if it does not have a concern for ‘the least of these.” said Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Nobel Peace Prize address, 1964.
Over fifty years after Dr. King’s call for financial inclusion and economic empowerment, the message is still relevant today, especially in migrant communities. Transformative wealth continues to be concentrated within a small percentage of individuals, organizations and nations. Studies show that the wealthiest 1% of the population holds 45% of global wealth. While there have been some significant achievements in reducing financial inequalities since the 1960s, half of the global population living in extreme poverty (on less than $1.90 per day) live in just five countries – India, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, and Bangladesh. In the Philippines, over 20% of the population live below the national poverty line (PHP 10,481 per month for a family of five).
Migrant remittances sent from America reached over $68 billion in 2019. The majority of the transferred funds received by family and friends were for investments, education, healthcare and daily needs. This mirrors Dr. King’s message regarding the allocation and distribution of resources to reduce inequalities and facilitate economic empowerment within the community.
“Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 's message of economic empowerment truly resonates with us here at WorldRemit. As a brand, we were created to support migrants in their bid to economically empower and support their families and friends back home" said Daniel Canning, Managing Director US, WorldRemit. "By using technology, we have digitized international money transfers, reducing transaction costs, increasing security and making them more convenient for both the sender and receiver. This allows the distribution of more funds to where they are needed the most, including lower-income nations where the money transfers deliver economic empowerment.”
WorldRemit remains committed to Dr. King’s legacy of economic empowerment by continuing to leverage technology; revolutionizing the way migrants send remittances back home.