News 2023: Honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

News 2023: Honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Chief Diversity Officer David A. Gomes reflects on the occasion of Dr. King's 94th birthday celebration

Honoring Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. graphic

Dear UMass Dartmouth Community,

Today we officially celebrate what would have been the 94th birthday of the late Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who championed non-violent resistance, social justice, and activism during our country’s tumultuous Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s. While Dr. King’s strategy of non-violent civil disobedience and interracial cooperation forever changed our country’s landscape by moving the pendulum away from legalized segregation and discrimination, his work remains unfinished.

On August 28, 1963, Dr. King delivered his “I Have A Dream” speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, where he said, “I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream.” As 2023 also marks the 60th anniversary of Dr. King’s prophetic words, these “difficulties and frustrations” that he mentioned still persist today – in the form of restrictive voting laws, and widening wealth and health disparities among our country’s historically marginalized groups -- his vision and dream of a free and just society for all regardless of the shell we walk in still persists.

Yet, together we can be THE dream! As many fundamental rights held sacred by Americans from all walks of life are under constant threat of being dismantled, it is through Dr. King’s example of unified collaboration, cooperation, and tenacious advocacy, that his dream of equal rights and justice for all will be achieved.

To further celebrate the legacy of Dr. King, I am excited to announce that the 21st Annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast will be hosted virtually on Friday, January 27, at 9:30 a.m. This year’s keynote speaker is activist and author Feminista Jones who will speak on this year’s theme, “Together We Can be THE Dream.” The virtual event will also feature musical performances by local artist and New Bedford native Shane Burgo as well as remarks from university officials and students. Please register for the event today.



David A. Gomes

Chief Diversity Officer / Title IX Coordinator

Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion