Celebrating MLK Day

January 18, 2021

Dear Brandeis Community:

As we celebrate MLK Day and the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., his words and actions are a continued inspiration, especially in these times. Dr. King visited the Brandeis community in 1957, speaking on the topic of “Justice Without Violence.” Words from his speech continue to resonate today:

“Justice without violence … does not seek to defeat or humiliate the opponent, but to win his friendship and understanding. … The ultimate end of violence is to defeat the opponent. The ultimate end of nonviolence is to win the friendship of the opponent.

The aftermath of violence is bitterness, but the aftermath of nonviolence is the creation of the beloved community. The aftermath of nonviolence is redemption and reconciliation. This is a method that seeks to transform and to redeem and win the friendship of the opponent, and make it possible for men to live together as brothers in a community and not continually live with bitterness and friction.”

At our own university, one charged with preparing students for full participation in a changing society and fostering concern about the welfare of others, I see the legacy of Dr. King’s words in action every day. Our “beloved community” pursues education, discussion, and friendship as a productive path to confronting complex and challenging issues. 

This is the work of a society committed to justice. As we remember Dr. King and celebrate MLK Day, I remain grateful to be part of a community committed to this work.


Ron Liebowitz