Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity

January 15, 2020

The Fierce Urgency of Now


Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

On Monday, January 20, our university community takes a moment of pause to honor the life and legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. King’s advocacy for nonviolent social justice and his reminder about the “fierce urgency of now” have as much relevancy today as they did over 50 years ago. As we enter a new year, and a new decade, we still remain a divided nation in so many ways. Where is our place, and what can we do?

To put it simply, we believe that the life of Dr. King should not be relegated to historical text — this is why our campuses engage in a suite of events and activities that explore the history and legacy of the civil rights movement through UW MLK Week. Whether we are children of the ’60s or turning voting age in 2020, the work of peace, justice, reconciliation and restoration of hope is at the heart of what we are called to do.

Core to our work as a community is helping each other become more principled, ethical human beings who rebel against inequity and indifference. This university can prepare the next generation of strategic leaders and thinkers to break down hierarchies of human value. We do this by serving together, living and learning together, asking big questions, seeking truth and marching together. Dr. King calls us to use what he described as “a kind of dangerous unselfishness” — so that our lives are not merely for ourselves, but for others, too, where we are bridge-builders, where we serve others all the time, not solely on this holiday.

Over the next 10 days, we invite you to serve, learn and march with us. Find ways to make this time meaningful for you, your family and your community. You can connect with others doing the same through social media, using the hashtags #uwMLKweek, #HuskiesServe and #UWserves.


Rickey Hall
Vice President for Minority Affairs & Diversity
University Diversity Officer


Ed Taylor
Vice Provost and Dean
Undergraduate Academic Affairs