Honoring the Legacy

Honoring the Legacy

This month, we honor Martin Luther King, Jr’s legacy, recalling his heroic efforts to meet one of our nation’s core challenges—equality for all. In his struggle for racial equality, Doctor King moved mountains, politically and socially. His message is more relevant than ever today, as we strive as a campus community and as a nation to build a more just society.  
Each of us can take inspiration and courage from Doctor King’s example, by embracing tolerance and acceptance of others, by engaging in civil discourse, and by walking in his footsteps in the spirit of public service and civic engagement.  

At Minneapolis College we celebrate the progress we’ve made toward becoming an anti-racist institution. We also recognize that this work is far from finished. We have the responsibility and, I believe, the opportunity to produce lasting change in our community and beyond.  

As we look forward, we must decisively mobilize to address systemic racism and advance racial equity. We must redouble our efforts through new initiatives. We must ensure that anti-racism and equity are woven into every aspect of our long-term strategy and our institutional culture.  

The work of the College over the next several years is guided by our Equity Statement, which commits us to being an anti-racist educational institution. Our Strategic Plan sets clear priorities centered on values of equity and student success. These values are integral to our mission and vision.
By making equity a strategic priority, we recognize the focus and resources needed to eliminate our institution’s equity gaps. This priority aligns with the Equity 2030 initiative, which seeks to address inequitable educational outcomes across the Minnesota State system.  

Minneapolis College has undertaken several initiatives to support this work—

  • Bridging the Equity Gap is a cohort learning initiative designed to reach, educate, and cultivate future male leaders who identify as Black, African American, and American Indian.
  • The Equity by Design team works in concert with the Minnesota State Office of Equity and Inclusion to move beyond policy and planning to shape institutional equity-minded practices.  
  • The Bias Incident Advisory Team, formed in 2022, responds to reported incidents to identify and provide opportunities for inter-group dialogue.  
  • Employee resource and affinity groups provide a space for employees to gather and work collaboratively toward common goals.
  • To create a stable, nurturing, and engaging learning environment, the College has begun the journey to becoming a trauma responsive, healing institution.
  • We have also taken several timely opportunities to talk about race and to learn, collectively, how to be actively antiracist.  

I hope that you were able to join the online event, Personifying Beloved Community, on January 19. Each year, students submit essays on Doctor King’s work and how it paved the way for overcoming today’s barriers to equity and justice. This oratorical contest connects individuals from various communities, including our TREC program, which provides eligible incarcerated students the opportunity to earn a two-year associate of arts degree. The event video is available for viewing on Equity and Inclusion’s YouTube channel.

February offers another opportunity to celebrate and reflect. I encourage you to attend Where Do We Go from Here: Living the Legacy of Black History Month on February 2, at 6 p.m., in T-Plaza. The keynote speaker for this event is Anthony Galloway. Live jazz music will be performed by Kenne Thomas and Lifeforce.

Martin Luther King, Jr’s message is both universal and timeless. Celebrating his legacy means finding ways to bring hope and healing to others. It means imagining what human dignity can look like and then pushing forward to make that vision a reality.

The most meaningful tribute we can offer to Doctor King is to live each day by the principles he defended: courage, truth, justice, compassion, dignity, humility, and service. 

May we dedicate ourselves to the pursuit of both knowledge and character, and to finding solutions to build a world that is more just and equitable for all. 


President Sharon Pierce

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