Celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

by Bruce Schultz, UAA Interim Chancellor  |   

Dear UAA Community,

Monday, Jan. 18, is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, an occasion to commemorate Dr. King's monumental achievements and tireless campaign for racial equality. This year's MLK Day occurs at a time when conversations surrounding justice, diversity, equity and inclusion are more salient than ever.

At UAA, we are committed to fostering a culture of equity and inclusion. As we operationalize UAA 2025,  our strategic plan, we will address and strive to eliminate systemic racism from our policies. We continue to work toward priorities laid out in our Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan, and you can learn more about progress toward those goals in the plan implementation update.

I also want to remind the university community of the resources available through the Difficult Dialogues Initiative as well as the UAA chapter of the National Coalition Building Institute (NCBI), which offers award-winning social inclusion and equity workshops and “Listening Circles” for small groups to engage in dialogue in order to foster greater understanding. I would also encourage you to read from among Dr. King’s prolific body of sermons, essays and speeches.

Take the opportunity while the university is closed on Monday to honor Dr. King's life by participating in community events celebrating his legacy and through service to the community. (Please do so safely by adhering to COVID-19 protocols.) MLK Day is the only federal holiday designated a national day of service, denoted as a “day on, not a day off.” You can reach out to Jenn Booz, chief diversity officer, for information about service opportunities.

As a final note, UAA is hosting the Chancellor's MLK Student Appreciation Celebration, which recognizes UAA students who have made positive contributions to our institution. The deadline for faculty and staff to recommend students is Jan. 22, 2021. Let’s honor students who embody the values Dr. King espoused — those who serve our campus community, both in the limelight and behind the scenes.

Sincerely,
Bruce Schultz
UAA Interim Chancellor

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