Tuesday, January 19, 2021

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

Recognizing the life and work of the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. (MLK Day)

This continues to be a difficult time in the United States with the continued presence of the coronavirus, political divisiveness and violence, and civil unrest. It is fitting that today is a federal holiday to recognize the life and work of the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr, because he offered a path forward in times just like this — love.

Many of us don’t use the word love when researching and teaching business, let alone managing the day-to-day work of our college. But it a useful perspective. When Dr. King spoke of love, he used it in biblical rather than romantic sense. He spoke of love as facing hard truths but doing so peacefully, persistently.

We see this type of love in the everyday work of scholars and teachers, who ask difficult questions and pursue truth to make the world a better place. We see love in the actions of Eugene Goodman, the Capitol Police Officer who non-violently led an angry mob away from US lawmakers (https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2021/01/15/eugene-goodman-capitol-police-officer-congressional-gold-medal/4172650001). The type of love that Dr. King referred to is in us and around us every day, but we need more of it to push back the darkness that we are experiencing today.

We honor Dr. King’s life and work when we face injustice in our society openly, courageously, and in the same breath affirm the worth of every person and condemn violence in any form. That is our hope not just for today, but for this entire year.

The university is hosting a number of MLK Day events beginning today and throughout the week. We encourage you to take a look at the options and participate as your schedule allows. For more information, please visit: https://mlk.uiowa.edu.

Best wishes this week as you prepare for the start of classes next week.