MLK Day: A Message from Christina Christie, Wasserman Dean
Today, we honor the life and vision of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.—our nation’s revered social and racial justice leader.
There remain pressing challenges in education and information—including changes that impact our schools, communities, and nation—and they require renewed energies and fresh research from our faculty and students. The pandemic continues to levy real damage on schools and students and has made clear the need to contend with the racial and economic divisions that undermine opportunities to learn. From efforts to promote and protect civil rights to projects designed to strengthen teaching and learning, our UCLA Education faculty are actively working to address these issues. Likewise, as students continue to face growing danger from social media disinformation, our UCLA Information Studies faculty are already working at the forefront of these critical issues.
Today is a new beginning. There is so much we are doing, but so much more needs to be done. The hill we climb is steep. My hope is that we turn a new page and begin to heal as we move toward real change based on dialogue, harmony, and unity—work that is focused on achieving the promise of education, health, and economic well-being, not just for some, but for all.
As the talented Ms. Amanda Gorman recited in her stanzas at the presidential inauguration, “We are striving to forge a union with purpose, to compose a country committed to all cultures, colors, characters, and conditions of man. And so we lift our gazes not to what stands between us, but what stands before us.” These words continue to ring true today.
What stands before us is nothing less than Dr. King’s ever-present vision of a beloved community and all that it stands for. In his aspirations for realizing this community, he had hoped that the right kind of spirit and the right kind of love would “transform the deep gloom of the old age into the exuberant gladness of the new age.” My hope is that together we can move closer to this noble and exuberant vision of peace, unity, and harmony amongst all people through real and lasting social change.
In unity, peace, and hope,