The memory of The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. will be celebrated at Brandeis and across the nation on Monday. It is a moment to reflect on his legacy and how his life’s work fits with the founding roots of this university, the Brandeis ethos, and our desire to support social justice for all. Brandeis is a place where we can and do talk regularly about issues important to Dr. King, and where students, faculty, staff and alumni get involved to address those issues — not just through the prism of history, but as ideals we aspire to now and in the years ahead. The ongoing effort to aid those suffering in Haiti a year after the earthquake and the overwhelmingly constructive campus response to the visit of the Westboro Baptist Church to Brandeis last semester are just two examples. There are many others.
In April 1957, MLK visited Brandeis as part of a lecture series on race relations. His talk, titled “Justice Without Violence,” addressed segregation in the South and his theory and practice of nonviolent resistance. I suggest you to take a few minutes to view the archival photographs and listen to his remarks on BrandeisNOW and contemplate the era in which he made them. Consider, also, that he was 28 years old when he spoke on campus. The Brandeis connection extends to Coretta Scott King, who was an honorary degree recipient in 1969.
There are many opportunities on MLK Day for Brandeis students, faculty, staff and alumni to get involved with community building and public service on campus and around greater Boston.
Please join the more than 170 community members who have already pledged to participate in this effort as they gather at the Shapiro Campus Center at 11:30 a.m. Monday to continue the work of Dr. King. You are invited to a free lunch where you will hear from a variety of speakers about what motivates them to serve on MLK Day, a free dinner and reflection back at the campus center, and the traditional evening program offering fun and inspiring speeches, poetry and music. This is the university’s sixth Annual Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial tribute. The program, titled “The Queens of His Dream,” is sponsored by MLK Scholars and Friends, the Division of Student Affairs and the Office of Communications. The event is free and doors will open at 6 p.m.