Seventy-six years ago, an 18-year-old student wrote in the Morehouse College literary journal words that hinted at the leader he would become: “We must remember that intelligence is not enough. Intelligence plus character — that is the goal of true education.”

We can all learn from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s example. In his fight for true inclusion and equality, Dr. King challenged America to re-examine its character and racial past and to embrace his vision of a “beloved community” built on peace, reconciliation, and justice.

Dr. King’s teachings continue to form a call to action to which we must rally. His life inspires us to stand up for justice, and his activism reminds us that even small individual acts of kindness and service can have profound impact. 

The University will be closed in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, Jan. 16, and I encourage everyone to learn, reflect, and to heed Dr. King’s call to service in a way of your choosing, whether on campus or in your neighborhood or place of worship.

The Lindy Center for Civic Engagement has organized a week of events in observance of the holiday. There will be a reenactment of Dr. King’s famous speech; a read-along of his daughter’s children’s book “It Starts with Me”; and discussions focused on Black civil rights feminism. All students, faculty and professional staff are welcome to register for the programs on the Lindy Center’s Civic Engagement database, Drexel Galaxy Digital

Here in West Philadelphia, student-athletes and coaching staff are sponsoring an Athletics’ Community Clean-up Day on Lancaster Avenue on Monday. You will also find many volunteer opportunities that support the wider Philadelphia community listed by outside organizations in the Global Citizen volunteer portal

I encourage you to make the most of this day and take this time to consider the part each of us plays in building a beloved community, a more just society, and more peaceful world.


John Fry

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