Dear UConn Students, Faculty, Staff, Alums and Friends:
On Monday, January 17, 2022, we will join with our brothers and sisters across the globe to honor and commemorate the life and legacy of the beloved Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. King’s work continues to inspire us to become our better selves and to “refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality”. Dr. King believed, as I believe, that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word. We must never give up the struggle for peace, justice and equality in all things.
On August 28, 1963, 250,000 people participated in the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom which came to be known as The Great March on Washington. The march was one of the largest political rallies for human rights in the United States. Dr. King was the final speaker at the march. Standing in front of the Lincoln Memorial, he delivered his historic “I Have a Dream speech”. In this speech, Dr. King encouraged us with these words:
…Let is not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you my friends. So even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed:
WE HOLD THESE TRUTHS TO BE SELF-EVIDENT, THAT ALL ARE CREATED EQUAL.
My friends, we are in a struggle for equal opportunity, righteousness, peace, justice and love. Would you join me in pledging that we can have a collective dream that better days are coming and that 2022 will be a year of bountiful blessings and favor beyond measure? Let us commit to the restoration of kindness, respect, gratitude, empathy and consideration for others in every aspect of our lives.
Be safe and stay healthy and know that you are loved.
May love fulfill you, may peace enfold you and may hope envelop you forever and ever.
Dr. Willena Kimpson Price
Director-H. Fred Simons African American Cultural Center
Affiliate Faculty Africana Studies Institute
University of Connecticut