Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


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On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we reflect as a nation on the impact of the man whose words continue today to inspire us to action.

It was 80 years ago that King began his freshman year at Morehouse College in Atlanta. He was just 15 years old. Two years later, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution published a letter to the editor in which King wrote, Black people "are entitled to the basic rights and opportunities of American citizens." His words, even as a young college student, were powerful. I hope our University of Akron students know they can continue King's legacy by speaking out about the issues that are important to them and standing up against injustice.

This year, the University marked the holiday with an important initiative created by Dr. Sheldon Wrice and the Office of Inclusion and Equity that further deepens our connection with the Akron community. Faculty, staff and students visited 10 Akron public schools for the purpose of reading the award-winning children's book "Martin's Big Words," in which pertinent sections of King's speeches and writing highlight key moments of his life.

I am deeply grateful to those who volunteered their time in our community to ensure young people are aware that their words can have power and meaning - an important lesson for all of us on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.


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Gary L. Miller
The University of Akron