More than 40 years after the life and death of Martin Luther King, Jr., his legacy continues through the work of those who follow in his footsteps. This year, as we celebrate Dr. King’s contributions on Friday, January 13, we will be joined by two leaders who exemplify many of his ideals.

At 11:45 am in Blackman Auditorium, we will welcome Boston City Councilor Tito Jackson, who represents our neighboring community of Roxbury. I am very pleased that Councilor Jackson can join us at this important event; he represents a continuation of strong African-American leadership here in Boston. I know his remarks will inspire all of us.

Later in the day, at 4 pm in Dockser Hall Room 240, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Isabel Wilkerson will give a talk titled, “Voices from the Black Migration.” Ms. Wilkerson is an acclaimed former New York Times reporter and author of the book, The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration.

These two honored guests—although different in many ways—are each engaged in work that seeks to educate people, to bring us closer together, and to find harmony among our many differences.

A range of Northeastern offices have come together to bring us these events, including the John D. O’Bryant African-American Institute, the Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project, the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice, and the Institute on Race and Justice.

These public events are key facets of the University’s overall observance of Martin Luther King Day. In addition to our teaching and research mission, Northeastern—like other universities—is committed to bringing people of diverse backgrounds together. Please join me in celebrating all aspects of our community on this important day.


Joseph E. Aoun