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The Reverend Charles Elliot Jr. of King Solomon Missionary Baptist Church in Louisville is the 2018 recipient of the Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Award. Elliot marched with King in the 60s and continues the fight for equality today. He spoke with me about the award and his vision for making Louisville a better place for all. You can listen to our conversation in the media player above.

Elliot on fighting for equality for people in the West End:

“We got poor people — white and black — in the West End of Louisville that are being denied opportunity and they have to resort to robbing, stealing, and whatnot to survive. I’m crying and begging us now to let’s come together. Pool our resources and make instead of Fourth Street Live, make 28th Street Live. That’s what my fight is about.”

On creating jobs in the West End:

“What we’ll do is put the funds there to do it. I got the men. We did the Muhammad Ali house out of the hands of people who had felonies. I got the job for them if I get the resources. They have donated some lots. I can build a brand new house if I get the funds to do it. But we’ve got to have the will to do it.”

Bill Burton is the Morning Edition host for WFPL News.