ODI’s MLK Day 2024 Message

To the UConn Community:

Today, we here at UConn observe Martin Luther King. Jr Day, a day set aside for commemorating and reflecting on the life and legacy of Dr. King.

This year, in particular, the Office for Diversity and Inclusion has been reflecting upon the meaning of thriving together in challenging times, and in that spirit, we invite you to reflect upon Dr. King’s own understanding of what it means to commit to justice, equality, and shared humanity, both in his time and in ours. As King reflected in 1956 amid the Montgomery Bus Boycotts:

“We stand today between two worlds—the dying old and the emerging new…Wherever there is the emergence of the new and the fading of the old, that is historically true and so the tensions which we witness in the world today are indicative of the fact that a new world is being born and an old world is passing away.”

In the midst of such uncertainty, tension, and fear, King urges us to remember that the emerging new world is one filled with the promises and responsibilities of community. Such work, he reflects, may be full of its challenges, but the work also gives us vitality and the joy and hope of learning to work with and alongside one another for a more just, equitable, and loving world. As he reflected, “The end [of boycotts and protest] is the creation of a beloved community. That we would bring these creative forces together we would be able to live in this new age which is destined to come.”

In the turbulent times we face today, King’s vision of a beloved community—one committed to a just, compassionate, and equitable world—can motivate us to lean on, support, and encourage one another, particularly in times when we are faced, day after day, with what King once called “the fierce urgency of now.”

With this vision in mind, ODI invites you to the 2024 MLK week of events which include the MLK Day of Service, the National Day of Racial Healing with Dr. Anneliese Singh, the MLK Living Legacy Convocation with Dr. Fania E. Davis, and UConn Health’s MLK Lunch for Thought either online or in person, as we remember and learn from the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Throughout the semester, we invite you to participate in our Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation (TRHT) events and the many vital and sustaining events sponsored by our Cultural Centers and Programs.

As we look forward to a new semester, we are deeply grateful for all in our UConn community who are working to bring about a new world. We know it is through our work together that we make it possible for all of us to thrive.


The Office for Diversity and Inclusion