Dear Siena Community,

Today, we honor the memory and life’s work of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He inspired a national reckoning on issues of racial inequality, and as a college community, we must remain dedicated to carrying forward Dr. King’s Dream, today and every day.

Last fall, the President’s Advisory Council on Diversity and Inclusion (PACDI) advanced eight major College initiatives designed to strengthen the bonds of racial justice and advocacy, and on this day I reaffirm Siena’s commitment to achieving those goals.  

On the national level, the fight for racial justice is being advanced in two powerful pieces of bipartisan legislation addressing police reform: the JUSTICE Act, authored by Black American Senator Tim Scott (R-SC); and the George Floyd Act, authored by Black American U.S. Representative Karen Bass (D-CA). This common ground was evident in November when Siena hosted a Congressional Panel on racial justice and police reform featuring U.S. Representatives Antonio Delgado (D-NY) and Tom Reed (R-NY).

We, as a united nation, must continue to advocate for the inalienable rights of all Americans. Continued grassroots advocacy, on college campuses and in cities and neighborhoods across the country, will help to usher our demands for change to the halls of Congress. It is my hope that necessary reform is passed within the opening months of the Biden administration.

It was during President Lyndon B. Johnson’s administration, more than half a century ago, that Dr. King inspired the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Dr. King’s life’s work has persevered, long after his death, but not without obstacles and setbacks. Injustice remains. But today, all Siena Saints remember Dr. King’s resolve, and we recommit ourselves to fulfilling his Dream by working together to build a world that is more just, peaceful and humane.