School of Nursing

January 20, 2020

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day 2020

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day 2020 offers us all an opportunity to pause and consider how we might better embrace and express the principles that are at the core of Dr. King’s legacy.

As nurses, we see the need for community, compassion, tolerance, diversity, equity, and inclusion. We see the mental and physical benefits of equity in healthcare and society at large.

At a time where there was so much hostility and animosity based on racial prejudice and inequality, Dr. King dared to have a dream. It was a dream of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Unfortunately, the hostility and animosity in the world remain. But so does the dream of a world where each of us is respected and honored for who we are and what we do.

Dr. King had a dream that one day his four children would “live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

Dr. King had a dream that one day “this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.’”

Though he lived in a time of ugliness and bigotry, Dr. King said “even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.”

In a world with so many wars and so little distinguished leadership, it is easy—too easy—to acquiesce to despair and say there’s nothing to be done. Faced with the same circumstances, Dr. King could have done that—but he didn’t. On this day when we honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the greatest honor we can bestow is to each commit to doing something individually to be part of making Dr. King’s dream more of a reality.

On this day, above all others, we should have a dream.