Dear USF Community,
On Monday, the University of South Florida joins the nation in honoring the life and work of Martin Luther King Jr.
This year, recognizing Dr. King’s legacy is particularly poignant. A global pandemic, racism and a violent insurrection against our democracy have disproportionately impacted the very communities that were at the core of Dr. King’s work.
Dr. King was a notable proponent of non-violence. He also asserted, “Peace is not simply the absence of conflict, but the existence of justice for all people.” As a university, we look to Dr. King’s vision to engage in vigorous and constructive dialogues as we work actively to dismantle racism in our society.
Guided by our Principles of Community, our USF community has been working together throughout the past year to take action by developing anti-racist practices, resources and initiatives. The resulting actions include investments in research, programming and resources to address anti-racism at USF and beyond.
In keeping with Dr. King’s legacy, there is more work needed to address injustice and inequity. How we respond individually and institutionally will define us as we move forward.
To that end, in honor of Monday’s national day of service, I encourage you to take time to give back to your communities and to reflect on actions that can be implemented throughout the year. USF’s Anti-Racism website offers resources to increase our understanding as well as a page to share ideas and input.
To echo Dr. King, if our actions are “vigorous and positive” we will make great progress toward longer-term solutions.