January 13, 2017

Martin Luther King Jr. Day Statement from President Merodie A. Hancock

Martin Luther King Jr., photograph by Benedict J. Fernandez '87.
Martin Luther King Jr., Photo/Benedict J. Fernandez '87

“Martin Luther King Jr.’s lifelong struggle – and the struggle of the civil rights movement that continues today – was essentially one of education.

“As an 18-year-old undergraduate student at Morehouse College, King wrote, ‘We must remember that intelligence is not enough. Intelligence plus character–that is the goal of true education.’

“King educated our nation about the urgent need for change by rejecting ignorance, hate and violence; participating in our great democracy through peaceful, nonviolent means, and by urging all Americans to do the same.

“The inspirational leadership and actions of King, and so many, many others, led to new and better civil rights laws, which, among several other benefits, provided many more Americans with much greater access to such fundamental rights as voting and pursuing a good education.

“In celebration of King’s life, I join with Board of Trustees Chairman H. Carl McCall and SUNY Empire State College’s students, faculty and staff, a wonderful community of learners, in reflecting on the lessons of King and the civil rights movement.

“By engaging in the active, lifelong process of teaching, learning and education, and participating as citizens, we can build on Dr. King’s legacy and bring about still greater change for the betterment of all Americans.”

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