As we commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, Jan. 16, we pause to honor and celebrate his legacy and words, which inspire us to dream. Drawing inspiration from the Hebrew scriptures, Christian Gospel and the non-violent philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. King fearlessly proclaimed the value, dignity and worth of each person as he advocated for civil rights for people of color.
From Dr. King’s 1963 I Have a Dream speech:
“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self‐evident, that all [persons] are created equal.’ ”
“I have a dream that one day, … little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.”
“With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together … to stand up for freedom together.”
What is your dream for 2023? Many of us dream of a world that’s free of racism, bigotry, prejudice, homophobia and xenophobia. We want to be part of a vibrant, engaging community where everyone feels they belong and are appreciated for who they are.
The Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, in collaboration with other campus offices, will host several events to advance his dream. On Wednesday, Feb. 1 Linda Villarosa, will speak on the intersections of race and health inequities. Her book, Under the Skin: The Hidden Toll of Racism on American Lives and on the Health of the Nation, was on the 2022 New York Times Top Ten Books of the Year list. On Wednesday, Feb. 15, Dr. Robert Simmons, head of social impact for the Micron Foundation, will give the keynote at Le Moyne's annual MLK convocation. He will share how his Jesuit education challenged his sense of hope, and how his father’s incarceration inspired his commitment to social justice.
In 2023, let us inspire each other and continue being more intentional in forming an inclusive and empathetic campus. Let us draw inspiration from Dr. King’s dream as together we foster a welcoming, friendly and joyful community.
Linda M. LeMura, Ph.D.
Rev. Charles Oduke, Ph.D.
Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion