"Only when it is dark enough can you see the stars.”
On April 3, 1968—the day before his assassination—Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke these words at Bishop Charles Mason Temple in Memphis, Tennessee.
On this night and many others, Dr. King witnessed the world grappling with the issues of freedom, inequity, and injustice. His sermon spoke of unity and collective action: the assertion that the freedoms of individuals cannot satisfy the fight for civil equality in the face of institutional injustice. In this spirit, he and his collaborators demanded that people in the U.S. actively work toward the achievement of civil rights for all.
In recognition of the fact that "human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable," MLK's legacy continues to embody action in silence, noncompliance in the face of injustice, and care for others in response to neglect. No matter how bleak the night, this year the NYU MLK Week Planning Committee, in collaboration with the Office of Global Inclusion, Diversity, and Strategic Innovation, charge you to not only reflect on your personal hopes for change, but to take action in pursuit of achieving a liberated future for historically marginalized and oppressed communities.
We invite all members of the NYU community to deepen their understanding of MLK and his legacy by attending this year's events.