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To The Young Leaders Of The New Civil Rights Movement,

I write this letter to you, on a day that we celebrate the legacy of a king who died before he reached the age of 40. Most of you, if not all of you, are under 40 years old, and some even still teenagers. I will keep this short, because today is a day of action, not a day to talk, but I wanted to write this before the day was over.

I have watched you emerge as leaders over the past few years. I have watched you stand strong against bullets, tear gas and police brutality. I have watched you give voice to some many who have been pushed to the outskirts of our society. I have learned from you, been taught by you and been challenged by you. I have been inspired by the incredible young women who have led much of this movement and the young men who have taken a step back, but still have stepped up. Simply put, I am in awe of all that you have done.

I would hate to name names, because I don’t want to leave anyone out, but to those who have been protesting in Ferguson, Missouri since the day Mike Brown was killed, you have a special place in my heart. There were sparks before that day, but the flame was lit on August 9th and you all refuse to let it be put out. You have ignited a country of protest that I am confident will lead us towards a more compassionate, generous and equitable nation. And ultimately where policy is passed that

creates a criminal justice system that is fair for all.

As someone who has been around for a minute, I know that it is the job of my generation and those that came before us to provide every resource we possible can to support your work. For it will be all of you who will lead us to the top of that mountain, that Martin spoke of the night before his untimely death. We never questioned his age then, and we should never question your age now. You are the ones we have been waiting for! You are intelligent. You are creative. You are brilliant. Keep shining! Keep marching! Keep perfecting these United States of America.

Love and Light,

Russell Simmons