Honoring the life and legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Dear USF Community Members,

Today, our beloved community again joins the nation in honoring the life and legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

And again this year, due to COVID-19 mitigations, many of the traditional ways we’ve gathered together to honor him have changed. Still, there are events hosted by USF as well as local and national organizations, and opportunities in our personal moments of reflection and prayer to recommit to continue Dr. King’s work. I invite you to attend a virtual event for the USF community next week, a dialogue with activist Minnijean Brown-Trickey, one of the Little Rock Nine, that will focus on Dr. King’s legacy of nonviolence. I hope to see you there on Jan. 25.

There are also upcoming virtual events hosted by Bay Area organizations, including the San Francisco Interfaith Council and Northern California Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Foundation.

Dr. King’s legacy has a living presence in USF’s Institute for Nonviolence and Social Justice, co-founded by Dr. Clarence Jones, USF emeritus professor and Dr. King’s attorney, speechwriter, and close adviser. With its mission to overcome injustice and systemic racism and violence, the institute is a resource for all members of our community, especially as our nation engages in the fight to ensure voting rights.

However you choose to spend Martin Luther King Jr. Day, I hope you will take some time to reflect on how each of us and all of us can advance the values he stood for — particularly promoting equality of opportunity and respect for human dignity — in our own lives and in the communities we share.

And, as we approach the beginning of the semester, allow me to welcome you back to classes and our busy spring calendar of activities, events, and programs. Here’s to a happy, healthy, productive new year to all.


Paul J. Fitzgerald, S.J.