An MLK Day Message from President Hallick

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On Monday, Pacific University joins the nation in marking Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

As we celebrate the birthday of this great leader, it is an appropriate time to remember the way he called each of us to engage with one another and with our communities, to speak and act to improve lives, and to spread education and compassion.

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’” Dr. King said.

To that end, while Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a university holiday, it also is a designated day of service — “a day on, not a day off.” While classes are out of session and offices are closed, I hope you will take this opportunity to find ways to engage with your community in honor of Dr. King’s legacy.

One such opportunity is offered by the United Way of Columbia-Willamette and Hands On Greater Portland, who are teaming up to host the Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend of Service with a wide variety of activities Jan. 18-21. 

The Human Rights Council of Washington County also will be hosting a celebration of Dr. King from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, at the Walters Cultural Arts Center in Hillsboro.

Other local events include a Dr. Martin Luther King Sabbath and Oseran Family Lecture at Congregation Beth Israel at 6 p.m. Friday and a Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Tribute at Highland United Church of Christ from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday.

Pacific’s ACE Board also will sponsor a screening of Green Book at 9:25 p.m. Friday at the Forest Theater, free for Pacific students.

Here at Pacific, we strive to live up to the memory of Dr. King as we make efforts to be more inclusive of all students, staff and faculty and continue our efforts to bring social justice to all aspects of the university. 

Later this month, we host our annual Social Justice Retreat, organized by a diverse group of faculty and staff who spend months planning and organizing this event. Undergraduate and graduate students will spend two full days working on a social justice curriculum with faculty and staff, as well as gathering with alumni working toward social justice. 

This spring, several students, faculty and staff will attend the National Conference for Race and Ethnicity in American Higher Education, or NCORE, as it comes to Portland. (Learn more about how to get involved.)

These events are a true reflection of honoring Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy, and I appreciate all involved for their commitment to expanding their perspectives and working to make Pacific an ever-better place.

We have more work to do but we are deeply committed to every aspect of our mission: A diverse and sustainable community dedicated to discovery and excellence in teaching, scholarship and practice, Pacific University inspires students to think, care, create, and pursue justice in our world.

Let us take this moment in time to reflect upon that mission and its meaning in the context of the world in which we live — and together, let us all continue in our commitment to social justice, individually and in our infrastructure, here at Pacific and in our communities. 

Jan. 18, 2019