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Honoring Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


"True peace is not merely the absence of tension; it is the presence of justice."   --Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.



Today we honor the life and legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who led our nation in a fearless and nonviolent pursuit of racial justice and equality for all Americans. Despite progress towards racial and social justice made by Dr. King and other activists of our time, we have yet to realize his dream for America.

With the enaction of major civil rights, the end of legalized racial segregation, and the election of our first Black president, some believed we achieved a post-racial society. The last few years, however, have shown that we still have work to do.

When Dr. King sought to confront the denial of human decency and justice for Black Americans, he led with a firm commitment to nonviolence and a hope to kindle "friendship and understanding" among those in resistance.

After such an unprecedented year, we are all yearning for peace--but as Dr. King said, "True peace is not merely the absence of tension; it is the presence of justice." The tumultuous events we have witnessed over the past year festered under the illusion of the absence of tension and continue to prevail because of the absence of justice. 

A return to yesterday, to what is comfortable, is not the remedy. We must march forward in community and with compassion and understanding for one another to achieve civil justice and racial equality.

UC San Diego is unwavering in our commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion. Now, more than ever, it is important to remain in community, promote healing, and actively work to cultivate a diverse and inclusive campus that encourages respectful open dialogue.

In place of a single-day service event, this year’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service will be a weeklong series of sessions focusing on service, dialogue, and training. Each event will focus on how to stay meaningfully connected at a local level while virtual.

In coming together we find true peace. 

Becky R. Petitt
Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion