CWU News

In Honor of MLK, Work Toward Positive Change

Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, Independence Avenue in Washington, DC

Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, Independence Avenue in Washington, DC

Dear Members of the Wildcat Community:

In his 1963 “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. recognized the “interrelatedness of all communities” and called for justice in the face of continued segregation and racism. Unfortunately, we continue to face the issues of violence, hate, and despair he addressed at this time.

As a nation that values equality and freedom, we cannot ignore the fact that subtle and overt racism are still ever-present in our society today. People of color are intimately aware of this fact. As Americans and members of the higher education community, we must stand together to make that equality and freedom accessible to everyone.

Dr. King recognized that “We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny.” He knew that “Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly.” And he knew, as all of us know, that “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” But he also believed, as he stated emphatically in one of his most famous speeches, that we could “get to the promised land.”

Through his leadership in the civil rights movement, King encouraged many people to give back to their communities and join him in the fight for equality so our nation could one day reckon with our troubled past. He showed us through our own actions that we can, in fact, make a positive change.

As a community, we at Central Washington University must take up one of King’s enduring legacies: how to create justice through our commitment to one another. Nearly six decades after his passing, Dr. King should be an inspiration to the CWU community as we work to create a multicultural and multiracial community of scholars who support our diverse faculty, staff, and students.

We have work to do at Central to realize our goal to create a community that truly embraces a sense of belonging for people from all walks of life, that recognizes our interdependence and interconnectedness. On Monday, we will all have an opportunity to challenge ourselves to a day of service and engagement, carrying on the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

We hope you will join us as we seek to make the world—and our community—a better place.

Jim Wohlpart

Kandee Cleary
Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity