Celebrating the Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Dear Marist community,
Today we observe Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and celebrate the life of one of America’s most iconic civil rights leaders. Since his tragic death over 50 years ago, his legacy and vision continue to serve as inspiration for generations to stand up against discrimination in all forms, and to persist in building communities that embrace justice, equality and love and respect for one another.
The social conditions that inspired Dr. King Jr.’s activism have made great strides over the years, but there is still much more work to be done. Ongoing societal inequities and structural racism in its many forms still exist and require that we all act with the same type of vigilance and action that Dr. King Jr. practiced decades ago.
This is not easy work, but it is work that’s necessary across our nation as well as here on our Marist campus. Creating a new Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and a leadership role focused on DEI have been significant steps forward for our College since we last observed MLK Day, and position us for further progress. But we must remember that no single person or office carries the responsibility for this work. This is a true community effort that requires everyone’s participation and conviction. We have been heartened by the regular examples we see of how our students, faculty and staff are committed to becoming a more diverse, equitable and inclusive institution.
In that spirit, Marist students, faculty and staff later this week will attend the Catharine Street Community Center’s annual Martin Luther King, Jr. breakfast, which honors local leaders for their commitment to the community. We are a proud, longstanding sponsor of this important event and continue to admire Catharine Street’s amazing work with young people.
Please take a moment today to pause and reflect upon the importance of Dr. King Jr.’s work, and the role each of us can play in making our communities places where people of all beliefs and backgrounds feel welcome and valued.
We wish you all the best as we kick off our spring semester this week. Welcome back!
Vice President, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion