Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
January 18, 2016
This Monday, January 18, 2016, many across the United States, and indeed the world, will pause to reflect on the life and contributions of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This day has become a day of national service and dialogue to honor the memory of Dr. King. If Dr. King were alive today, I think he would be saddened by the divisiveness throughout the world and particularly in the United States. He once said:
Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital unity. Hate destroys a man’s sense of values and his objectivity. It causes him to describe the beautiful as ugly and the ugly as beautiful, and to confuse the true with the false and the false with the true.
As we begin a new year and anticipate the presidential election this fall, rather than focusing on what binds us together as a nation of free people, we seem to be dwelling on what divides and polarizes us. As a result, the American people are frustrated with the political process and our inability to address meaningful social change with a clear sense of social responsibility. There is much wisdom in Dr. King’s admonition, “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”
At Union Institute & University, we attempt to live each day focusing on social justice and social responsibility as an integral part of our mission to engage, enlighten, and empower our students to transform lives and communities. We strive to create a deep respect for the individual integrity of each person. In fact, more than 50 years after his historic I Have a Dream speech, Union faculty, alumni, and students in the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Studies specialization of our Ph.D. program find inspiration in studying Dr. King’s words, ideas, and practices.
Please join me and the entire Union community in celebrating this day as a gift of reflection and service, and an opportunity to motivate each of us to commit our actions, time, and lives in 2016 to encourage all to do better, just as Dr. King has inspired many to do. To learn more about volunteer opportunities in your community visit the MLK Day National Service page.
Roger H. Sublett
Union Institute & University