Martin Luther King Jr. day is Monday, January 18th. It’s a day without classes when the University is otherwise closed. All of us at CCSD encourage the UD community to reflect on and make use of the day in ways that honor the legacy of Dr. King, those beside him, and countless others before and after him in the struggle to achieve a socially just society.
Dr. King was a leader of the civil rights movement who strove for racial justice with great courage and personal sacrifice. He worked tirelessly until his assassination, and there remains much work to be done to create the just and equitable society he envisioned. When we are assaulted daily by reports of hate, racism, and violence, this day offers an opportunity to make positive change.
“You may well ask: ‘Why direct action? Why sit-ins, marches and so forth? Isn’t negotiation a better path?’ You are quite right in calling for negotiation. Indeed, this is the very purpose of direct action. Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue.” (Martin Luther King, Jr., “Letter from Birmingham Jail”)
Please consider this a “day on, not a day off” by doing something for your community to honor his legacy. Even during a pandemic, it’s possible to make meaning of the day. And then consider making the effort last the rest of the week, the rest of the year, and the rest of your life.