In a statement to the City University of New York (CUNY) community, the chancellor, James B. Milliken, noted that the foundation of the university is based on a number of different principles but none is as important as the institution’s 160 years of dedication to opportunity, social justice, and inclusion.
He said, “While some universities have mottos, at CUNY we have causes, providing New Yorkers, particularly those underrepresented in our society, the education and skills they need for achieving their dreams and building better communities.”
“The national holiday recognizing that great American, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is particularly meaningful to us at CUNY because he articulated so brilliantly, and advanced at such cost, the values to which we, too, are committed. His struggle reminds us that constructing a just society is hard work, and that the battle against discrimination must continue so that all of us have the opportunity to set our ambitions high, and reach them,” he added.
He argued that Dr. King’s message was centered on the battle of overcoming the division within the society with the view that everyone will benefit.
“CUNY was built on that principle and we – and our city and state – have thrived because of our embrace of underrepresented New Yorkers, including immigrants from all over the world, who bring optimism and fresh thinking to our classrooms,” he said.
Milliken appealed to the community to reflect on the life and work of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and call for a rededication to his vision of justice and inclusion.
Yvad Billings, Readers Bureau, Fellow
Edited by Jesus Chan
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