Photo courtesy of creative commons

Photo courtesy of creative commons

50 years ago today gospel singer Mahalia Jackson shouted “Tell em about the dream!”. MLK shoved his script aside and the most epic freestyling performance soared from the stage of the Lincoln Memorial–a proclamation of emancipation from injustice, marginalization, nullification, hate.

I am eternally inspired by this moment in history. Like so many that visit our nation’s capital, I have stood exactly on those steps where MLK looked out across a nation ebbing and flowing with emotion, a sea of a quarter million people, and through extemporaneous speech generated a wave of inexorable change. King’s speech transformed the Mall into a moment, and the moment transformed into a movement. Without The Dream the world would not be the same. The Dream is the “promissory note” we bank on today, always, whether for equality or prosperity or happiness, and without dreams there can be no hope for tomorrow.

Technology today makes us faster than ever. Phones connect us instantly. Networks magnify our voices. But it is the courage women, children, and men have to combat injustice that preserves human dignity. It is this indomitable spirit to fight for what is right that bonds people across time, place, race, and history. This spirit, so eloquently manifested 50 years ago in ethereal evangelical metaphors, is what lifts us as one human race and saves us from perdition, permanent self-destruction wrought from hammers of intolerance and intransigence.

Words build movements.
Words inspire learning.
Words level playing fields.
Words foment change.

So our right to assemble freely–whether by the Reflecting Pool or in cyberspace–to associate without looks of askance or to converse without peering eyes is inalienable. Preserving free speech from manacles of surveillance and chains of distrust is more than a call-to-action, it is a duty of endowed people privileged enough to call ourselves citizens of the free world.

Our mission is to empower people with a communication platform for agency, autonomy, sovereignty. To improve the art of communication. To guarantee virtual assembly–the power to connect people and their devices instantly into private, secure communication networks where they can grow any cause into a movement.

Better democracy through better communication.

Let freedom ring. And keep freedom free at last and forever.

Russell Okamoto
Cofounder CEO of Celly & Citizen of the Free World

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