Dear Orange Friends,
So much has changed in the world since we last observed the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. This year, we recognize his impact and celebrate his dream against a backdrop of troubling events. Anti-Black racism continues to divide us.Disparities in health, income, policing and justice continue to plague us. And the global pandemic can add to feelings of isolation.
Today, I am asking all of us to seek inspiration and motivation to honor Dr. King’s legacy. I have, on several occasions, asked the Syracuse University community to embrace the discomfort that drives change and growth. Even when it is hard, perhaps especially when it is hard, we must press on. Many of you have found opportunities for service and reflection in your own communities. I hope you will also join our community for the annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration on Jan. 31, which will be held in a virtual format.
Our keynote speaker, Ruby Bridges, is an icon of the civil rights movement and a living embodiment of courage in the face of racism and injustice. I guarantee that her words will inspire us all to direct our courage toward healing division and taking action. Courage creates change. It is often uncomfortable. And it is what we need to bring us together as a university, a community and a nation.
Chancellor Kent Syverud