Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Jan. 11, 2023

Dear Brandeis Community,

We are honored to announce our celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on Monday, Jan. 16, 2023. According to Britannica, "Beginning in 1970, a number of states and cities made his birthday, Jan. 15, a holiday. Although legislation for a federal holiday was introduced in Congress as early as 1968, there was sufficient opposition, on racial and political grounds, to block its passage. In 1983 legislation making the third Monday in January a federal holiday finally was passed, and the first observance nationwide was in 1986. The day is usually celebrated with marches and parades and with speeches by civil rights and political leaders."

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. started his exploration for justice in his community. With the support of his wife, Coretta Scott King, he embarked on a journey of care about the plight of people all over the world. He and many others inspired by him fought for civil rights for Black people and other marginalized communities. Though he was taken from the world too soon in a violent act, his legacy embodies community, and his words and dreams are alive with us today. We can apply them and determine how they resonate with our lives.

Our celebration theme, Reflect and Reimagine, recognizes values, beliefs, and teachings of the social justice roots that we so appreciate in our community. Join us as we reflect upon and reimagine our relationship with community partners; how we connect with diversity, equity, and inclusion; and, how we care for and interact with one another in our community. We invite you to make the theme yours as you reflect upon yourself as a member of and contributor to the Brandeis community.

Reflect and Reimagine
Monday, Jan. 16, 2023
Shapiro Campus Theater

Please visit the Martin Luther King, Jr. website for a rolling list of commemorative events.

In addition, our university archives and additional resources offer insight into Brandeis University’s special connection with Dr. King, so please explore the following: When Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. visited Brandeis — Justice without Violence lecture — April 3, 1957, and Remembering Martin Luther King, Jr.’s visits to Brandeis. Dr. King made three visits to Brandeis: in 1956, 1957 and 1963. They are documented in the Lynn Goldsmith Papers: The Diary and Papers of a Young Civil Rights Worker — Robert D. Farber University Archives and Special Collections. We are also proud of our Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Fellowship Program which highlights scholarship and community service.

We look forward to seeing you at our events this year.

In Community,

Monique Pillow Gnanaratnam
Dean of Students

Lee Bitsóí
Vice President, Diversity Equity, and Inclusion