2022 2022: Remembering Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Remembering Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Chief Diversity Officer David A. Gomes remarks on the legacy of Dr. King

Honoring Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dear UMass Dartmouth community,

Today we celebrate the birthday of the late Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who championed social justice, non-violent resistance, and activism during our country's Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s. Dr. King's strategy of non-violent civil disobedience and interracial cooperation enabled him and his allies to fight effectively against a system of legalized racial segregation and discrimination. His work forever changed the landscape of America.

Recently, as we have witnessed a rise in hate-filled rhetoric and violence directed at our country's historically marginalized populations, many people wonder, "What would Dr. King say if he were alive today in 21st century America?"

I like to think that even in these troubling times, he would marvel at the strides the country has made toward equal rights and justice for all Americans. He would smile at the election of the first woman - and woman of color- elected as Vice President of the United States. He would see signs of justice and hope in the guilty verdicts in the George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery murder cases. However, he would also express deep concern at the widening of wealth and health gaps among historically marginalized groups due to the COVID-19 pandemic and how restrictive voting laws continue to be used in an attempt to erode the right to vote.

While we can certainly savor signs of progress, like Dr. King, we must be ever vigilant and mindful that many fundamental rights held sacred by Americans are under constant threat of being dismantled. It is up to us to protect Dr. King's legacy by continuing to strive for equal rights and justice for all - regardless of one's race, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, religion, socioeconomic status, or political affiliation.

That is why our 20th Annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast's theme is "Dr. King for the 21st Century". I hope you will join us on Friday, January 28, 2022, from 9 to 11:00 a.m. on Zoom to celebrate the legacy of Dr. King and hear how his work, and our work, must continue. The event will be keynoted by best-selling author Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, who will speak about how Dr. King's legacy can shape our actions in the future. Please register for the event today.



David A. Gomes

Chief Diversity Officer / Title IX Coordinator

Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion