Dear Miami Family,
On Monday, our University and nation will honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. As we begin the new year, this is a time to reflect on his message of peace, justice, and equality. Fundamentally, Dr. King was a teacher who taught us how to advance and uphold “the democratic equality” that should be the birthright of every citizen. He told us, “There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right.”
As we celebrate Dr. King, we are called to engage with one another and with our communities to speak out in ways that improve lives and drive us closer to his dream for a world where people “will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” Recognizing that there is work ahead, we are called to work together to ensure that we continue to grow as a place where all are welcomed, all are respected, and all are valued.
At Miami, we stand in solidarity with all who advocate for transformative change and justice and we declare that Black Lives Matter. We are committed to continuously advancing our diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts, and we rededicate ourselves to the perseverance, unity, and mission that will accelerate us to a community that reaches its full potential.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic and gathering restrictions, our Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrations will look different this year than previous years. We hope you will join us in celebrating Dr. King’s life and legacy at one or both of these events:
- The city of Oxford, in collaboration with Miami University, will record a virtual ceremony that will be released on MLK Day and will be available through the duration of Black history month.
- Miami University will host renowned poet, writer, activist, and educator, Nikki Giovanni on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, January 18th, from 1:00-2:30pm for a virtual event: Anti-Racist Activism Then and Now: A Conversation with Nikki Giovanni. We will have a moderated discussion with a panel of Miami students and alumni to engage in an open dialogue with Nikki Giovanni about what activism looked like during the Civil Rights era compared to what activism looks like today. The partners collaborating to make this event possible are: the Office of the President, the Office of Institutional Institutional Diversity and Inclusion, the Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion, the Black Student Action Association, the Diversity Affairs Council, the Graduate Students of Color Association, Miami University Associated Student Government, and the Miami University Alumni Association. Registration is required.
However you choose to spend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we hope you will take time on Monday to reflect on how you can advance the values for which he stood.
Love and Honor,
Gregory P. Crawford
Interim Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion