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Fostering Tolerance, Civility: Dr. King’s Work is Ours to Carry On

January 15, 2021

Dear Students and Colleagues:

If the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. were to have lived to mark 92 today, we can only wonder at the level of progress that might have been realized in his campaign for equality and justice for all. In the short 39 years allotted him, Dr. King touched so many hearts and moved mountains, politically and socially, in his quest for an answer to one of the nation’s core challenges, racial inequality. Certainly, he would have provided wise counsel over the last year as the nation grappled with the calls for racial justice arising from repeated violence against Black lives.

With his life’s work left unfinished, it remains for each of us to take inspiration and courage from Dr. King’s example. So many of you have truly taken that position over this past year, and in doing so, our University honors Dr. King.

When we embrace tolerance and acceptance of others from different cultures, as well as civil discourse, we honor Dr. King. When we set as our shared goal the vision of a society free of prejudice and barriers to individual fulfillment, we honor Dr. King. When we turn away from voices that would divide us and uphold the principle that — as the great civil rights leader framed it — “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” we honor Dr. King.

The spirit of public service and civic engagement that has been a key observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day each year is yet another way in which we walk in the footsteps of this great man. This year, the Lindy Center for Civic Engagement will honor Dr. King’s legacy during a week of service and reflection with numerous events starting Monday, January 18. Also, Drexel’s new Center for Black Culture, in partnership with Global Citizen, will be collecting clothing and food to support Philadelphians experiencing homelessness.

Joining all those who share the dream of freedom and equality, I welcome each of you to stand with me in embracing the enduring humanitarian legacy of Dr. King, today and every day.


John Fry President