[January 15, 2021]
Dear RVU Family,
This coming Monday, we celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. In the decades after his untimely death, his work to secure equal rights for all members of our society has continued to inspire us.
On this day, we can honor Dr. King with one of his greatest hopes for our society and one which I call upon the RVU community to fulfill in whatever way you are able: providing service in your community. As stated by Dr. King, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?” We know that, with a pandemic that has yet to abate, volunteer service will look different this year. The easiest and most widely available act of service in these unprecedented times is, of course, wearing a mask. Beyond that, there are resources provided by AmeriCorps – an organization tasked with leading the effort to celebrate MLK Day of Service, “a day on, not a day off” – which can be found at https://americorps.gov/newsroom/events/mlk-day.
At RVU, we continue our efforts of diversity, equity and inclusion through several initiatives. Most recently, the SGA Student Diversity Committee hosted the first event in the Summit on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion series, in which RVUers discussed implicit bias with guest speaker Leslie Zorwick, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychology at Hendrix College, as well as their own experiences confronting racism and discrimination. In addition, dozens of RVU employees and students as members of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force are currently engaged in planning how RVU can continue to improve and move forward.
The work started by Dr. King is not done. RVU’s work is not done. We look forward to the many ways in which our community will honor Dr. King’s legacy in 2021 and in years to come. While we take this day to reflect on Dr. King’s life, I leave you with some of his own words:
“Everybody can be great, because anybody can serve…You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”