Dear Members of the TC Community:
I am looking forward to welcoming back students and faculty from winter break as we return to remote classes next week—and to gathering with all of you on campus again in just over two weeks on January 31. The launch of spring semester on Tuesday marks nearly two years of uncertainty, challenges and suffering for so many and it thus feels especially fitting that we will spend Monday honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., whose example of hope and persistence continues to inspire us.
In 1956, in a sermon given just blocks from our campus at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Dr. King said, “Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle.” Thanks to Dr. King’s leadership, moral vision, and ceaseless courage, our country and world made a great leap forward. His “promised land” was not realized before his death, nor has it been yet—racism and stark disparities in access and opportunity remain urgent challenges—but Dr. King was able to declare in 1967 that “Our freedom was not won a century ago, and it is not won today; but some small part of it is in our hands…”
Each day at TC, we strive to bring more freedom into our hands by embracing Dr. King’s “audacious faith” that we can shape a better, more just, and more equitable future. On this day, as we contemplate our country’s debt to Dr. King, let us consider the ways we can live up to his legacy by confronting and dismantling racism, injustice, and inequity in all its forms—in our institutions, in our actions, and in ourselves. And as we head into the spring semester, let us recommit ourselves to the pursuit of social justice so that every individual is able to participate and flourish as equal and valued members of our shared society.
President, Teachers College