Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

January 12, 2006 | News from the Chancellor

As we prepare to mark the 76th birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a great leader who had a profound impact on our nation and our world, I wish to encourage you to attend an important event celebrating his birth. It will be held on Sunday, January 15, 2006 at Riverside Church, 490 Riverside Drive, Manhattan, from 5 PM to 7 PM.

Although Dr. King spent just 39 years on this earth, he set in motion changes whose impact are being felt to this day. His relentless energy, his vision of equality, and his dream of a better America, were the driving forces behind the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the Fair Housing Act of 1968.

One of the transforming moments of my life was my City College Commencement, at which Dr. King spoke. I’ll never forget his eloquent oration that day: “With this faith and this work we will be able to transform the angling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood.”

Dr. King drew his inspiration from the desire of good people of all races and backgrounds to live in peace and harmony. As we approach the holiday that bears his name it is especially appropriate that we celebrate his life at Riverside Church, where he spoke a year to the day before his death. This event, like Dr. King, will be inclusive of all.

It is clear that Dr. King’s work remains unfinished and that eliminating poverty and inequality continues to be a challenge for all Americans. Please accept my best wishes for the holiday and the new year.