Marking MLK Day 2023

January 16, 2023

Dear students, faculty, and staff,

Today, we celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who dedicated himself to seeking equal rights for people of color, and thereby helped us all see our shared humanity. Millions and millions of people around the world have been inspired by his example to work for social justice.

Each year, this day reminds us of the continuous need to examine and address persistent forms of inequity around the world, and particularly the injustice experienced by marginalized communities in our global society. Inequality cuts across many areas of human experience, from education, healthcare, and the law, to housing, food security, and climate risk.

Therefore, this day presents an opportunity to embrace community resolve and heed Dr. King’s call for “worldwide fellowship that lifts neighborly concern beyond one’s tribe, race, class, and nation.”

As an educational institution that prepares future generations of compassionate and engaged leaders, changemakers, and community members, we strive to embody Dr. King’s teaching in the mission and vision of this University. We encourage all members of our community to use this moment to reflect on his message and recognize the intrinsic value of every individual at NYU Abu Dhabi. We ask that each of you renew your commitment to help redefine the “new normal” — a phrase we have encountered too many times over the last few years — and create opportunities to unearth new possibilities.

In our spirit of collaborative engagement, the work of the Inclusion, Equity, and Action Committee continues apace. Work is well advanced on the creation of a Blueprint for Belonging, a strategic plan for our inclusion, diversity, belonging, and equity at NYUAD. We are committed to propelling innovative research on this agenda, which is core to the implementation of the NYUAD Academic Strategy. These vigorous initiatives throughout the university in many ways take up the challenge that Dr. King set for the world.

In honor of this day, this evening we will host the NYU BeTogether Global Scholars and Innovators Series, with a conversation among Frankie Edozien, Director of NYU Accra and Clinical Professor at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute, Gregory Pardlo, Visiting Associate Professor of Practice in Literature and Creative Writing at NYUAD, and Lisa Coleman, NYU’s Senior Vice President for Global Inclusion and Strategic Innovation and Chief Diversity Officer. The discussion will commemorate Dr. King and capture the essence and importance of his legacy in our time.

All members of our community are invited to attend the discussion in person on Monday, January 16, beginning at 6:00pm in A6-001.

You are also invited to join NYU’s global network in commemorating Dr. King and his dedication to the peaceful struggle for a new world during the 18th annual MLK Week this February.

In solidarity,

Mariët and Arlie