Our View: Remember MLK’s Dream Monday, even though classes are canceled

DKS Editors

Usually classes don’t start until the Tuesday after Martin Luther King Jr. Day. But this semester, for whatever reason, we’ve started a week earlier. Which means we don’t have classes Monday.

No class means more than just a day off, though. It means the remembrance and celebration of a great American leader. We encourage and hope you take at least a few minutes to think about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his contribution to society today. Beyond his famous “I Have a Dream” speech, Dr. King advocated nonviolent protest and acceptance.

More than half a century after Dr. King’s time, we wonder if we are any closer to achieving his dream, specifically at Kent State. We applaud the university’s recent efforts to promote diversity, such as creating a vice presidential position for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and hiring Alfreda Brown to fill it. More so, the Diversity Scorecard that Kent State is implementing is a step in the right direction. Having a way to benchmark progress in the university’s drive for diversity will keep Kent State’s administration more accountable in its recruiting and hiring practices.

At the same time, we realize that tolerance doesn’t spawn from new administrative policies. Acceptance of others begins at the individual, day-to-day level. We must all personally make an effort every day to foster better understanding.

Read a book on the Civil Rights Movement. Attend a Martin Luther King Jr. Day event (although Kent State’s official celebration event featuring speaker and former NAACP President Kweisi Mfume isn’t until Jan. 27). But above all else, listen with an open mind.

We are a campus of nearly 25,000 students. We come from all ethnic backgrounds, economic groups and social levels. It’s not difficult to find someone different from yourself. Seriously, just sit in the Student Center for five minutes.

Reach out and listen to his or her story. Put yourself in his or her shoes. Start a dialogue. Remember Dr. King’s dream.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent State editorial board.