The Socially Sparked Quote of the Week comes from outspoken activist Harvey Milk. The visionary civil and human rights leader firmly believed that dialogue played a crucial role in breaking down prejudices. In honor of this week’s celebrations for Cultural Diversity of Dialogue and the birthday of the late Harvey Milk, we highlight one of Milk’s famous quotes.

breaking down barriers begins with dialogue
Harvey Milk was born on May 22nd, 1930. In his honor, Harvey Milk Day is celebrated each year on his birthday.

“Once you have dialogue starting, you know you can break down prejudice.” –- Harvey Milk

The New York native found his voice as a leader and activist in San Francisco during the 1970s. It was a time when the community was encountering widespread hostility and discrimination. Milk was one of the first openly gay elected officials in the United States. He won a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977, after two previous unsuccessful attempts. His unprecedented loud and unapologetic declaration as an openly gay candidate for public office, his ensuing campaigns and eventual election gave hope to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBTQ) people.

Tragically, another of society’s unresolved issues — gun violence — cut Milk’s life short. Harvey Milk was assassinated in 1978, almost a year after taking office.

Harvey Milk has Socially Sparked® our lives as a passionate advocate and leader in the fight for equality, gay and civil rights, neighborhood safety, and more. We live in a time where dialogue is re-igniting and beginning important conversations for social change on many of today’s most pressing societal issues. Milk’s rallying cry for dialogue to break down barriers is as important today as it was 30 plus years ago. — We are Socially Sparked! Tweet @sosparkednews. To learn more about Harvey Milk and his life visit The Milk Foundation.