As we commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. this Monday, the day set aside in his honor, we reflect on his legacy and his teachings. As a Jesuit institution, we are committed to walk with those whose dignity has been violated in a mission of reconciliation and social justice, dialogue and peaceful protest, and the power of love – and in each of these areas Dr. King’s words are as impactful today as they were when spoken decades ago.
On reconciliation and social justice - “Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.”
On dialogue and peaceful protest - “I have tried to offer them my deepest compassion while maintaining my conviction that social change comes most meaningfully through nonviolent action.”
On the power of love - “That’s love, you see. It is redemptive, and this is why Jesus says love. There’s something about love that builds up and is creative. There is something about hate that tears down and is destructive. So, love your enemies.”
Through his actions and the actions of those he inspired, Dr. King exemplified the Jesuit ideal of contemplatives in action - a way of engaging social issues steeped in prayer, discernment, and critical reflection. Speaking last year, Pope Francis said: "In today's world, which increasingly faces the challenges of social injustice, division and conflict that hinder the realization of the common good, Dr. King's dream of harmony and equality for all people, attained through nonviolent and peaceful means, remains ever timely."
May God help us all to become more forgiving and more loving to others, as we strive to model the words and actions of Dr. King today and every day. Our MLK Convocation this year will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 9, with the keynote address from Mario Powell, S.J., president of Brooklyn Jesuit Prep and a new member of Le Moyne’s Board of Trustees. Event details will soon be shared and we hope you can join us.
Linda M. LeMura, Ph.D.
Rev. Charles Oduke, Ph.D.
Vice President for Mission Integration and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion