A message from Adrian Clark, RVU consultant and member of the Inclusive Excellence Advisory Council, regarding the importance of the upcoming Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday:
This year on January 16 the nation observes and celebrates the birth of a true contemporary American hero, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
From his initial involvement in the Montgomery Bus Boycott; to his “I Have a Dream” speech during the historic March on Washington; to his leadership of the march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama; to his opposition of the Vietnam War and finally his support of sanitation workers in Memphis, Tennessee, Dr. King’s commitment to human and civil rights changed the United States and impacted the world. As a renowned orator and writer Dr. King also left behind a collection of speeches and writing that will likely resonate forever.
Although he faced many challenges during his life, Dr. King had the courage to confront violence with peace and combat hatred with love. While there is much to learn from the life and teachings of Dr. King, his immeasurable courage, and his ability to espouse peace and love despite the challenges he faced are especially notable.
An excerpt from his last presidential address to the Southern Leadership Conference on August 16, 1967, provides key insight into his philosophy and his character: “… one of the great problems of history is that the concepts of love and power have usually been contrasted as opposites, polar opposites, so that love is identified with a resignation of power, and power with the denial of love. . .What is needed is a realization that power without love is reckless and abusive, and that love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love."
At RVU our healthcare education community continues to move forward with dedication to diversity, equity, and inclusion while embracing social justice as power that can correct “…everything that stands against love”.
Everyone at RVU has the power to make a difference in our collective journey to build a better world and to create a university characterized by Inclusive Excellence.