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One person can change a lot

OFTEN the catalyst for righting a wrong is just one person saying no.

Many collective actions for change can be traced back to one individual putting up their hand.

Rosa Parks was one of these individuals. An inspiration for all of us, Parks was the catalyst for major, much needed societal change in the United States of America.

“Rosa Parks ignited the most significant social movement in modern American history.”

That’s former American president Bill Clinton speaking at the funeral of civil rights activist Rosa Parks in 2005. Although a woman “small in stature” the difference she made was anything but small.

The act of refusing to give up her seat to a white passenger on a segregated bus was a simple one but one the put Parks in the history books and spawned in Clinton’s words “the most significant social movement in modern American history.” It was this simple act that was a catalyst for the end of segregation in the USA.

“… that tiny gesture was repeated over and over again, millions and millions of times in the hearts and minds of children, their parents, their grandparents, their great grandparents, proving that she did help to set us all free,” said Clinton back in 2005.

In 1996 Clinton awarded Parks with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The following year she was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal. But her real achievement is what she did for humanity. Parks died in 2005 but her legacy and contribution to civil society lives on.

In Clinton’s words”: “Now that our friend, Rosa Parks, has gone on to her just reward, now that she has gone home and left us behind, let us never forget that in that simple act and a lifetime of grace and dignity, she showed us every single day what it means to be free. She made us see and agree that everyone should be free.”

Be encouraged by Rosa’s inspirational story. Union Members are often the catalyst for change in their workplaces. With the collective power of other Members and their union, real change can be made in the places where they go to work every day.  The CPSU sees examples of this each and every week.

You can read and listen to Bill Clinton’s full speech here: http://www.democracynow.org/2005/11/3/bill_clinton_rosa_parks_made_us

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