Lunar New Year, Rev. Dr. King Jr., and DEI Efforts

Mari's Memo

February 3, 2022 – Happy Lunar New Year to all who celebrate! This is the Year of the Tiger. People who were born in the Year of the Tiger are said to be ambitious, courageous, and generous with the desire for justice and a dedication to helping others for the greater good. These descriptors remind me very much of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., whose words have been heavy on my mind these past few weeks. This year was the first time I read the full transcript of his most famous speech, I Have a Dream. The speech was given during the March on Washington for jobs and freedom in 1963. While you may be familiar with the end of his speech, many have not heard or read the speech in its entirety.

Rev. Dr. King, Jr. touched on topics from racial injustice to economic and social equality. He spoke candidly about the injustices faced by Black people in this country: "There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges." He also reminded people that the best time to enact change is in the present: "We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism." These sentiments are felt today, because freedom and justice are still being fought for in 2022.

This year, we can all be inspired by what the Year of the Tiger represents: making big changes and stepping outside of our comfort zone. We can listen to Rev. Dr. King, Jr’s words while focusing our efforts on DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) with a sense of urgency. Let this be the year that you show up for the greater good.