Honoring Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. – Monday, January 18, 2021

January 15, 2021

Dear Gonzaga community:

This coming Monday, our nation and University will commemorate and celebrate the life and many contributions of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Pastor, activist, author, humanitarian, and recipient of the 1964 Nobel Prize for Peace, Dr. King led the American civil rights movement from 1955 until his devastating assassination on April 4, 1968. Dr. King was 39 years old when he died.

The annual commemoration of Dr. King’s life and legacy goes well beyond one day, rippling out to include many courageous women and men who have long been part of the struggle for human and civil rights in our country. This day stands as an invitation to deepen our awareness and understanding of the antecedents and history of the civil rights movements of our time (at, for example, the website of the National Museum of African American History and Culture).

In communion with cities around the nation, Spokane continues to be inspired by the work of Dr. King, a leader who dedicated his life – in the face of deeply entrenched injustice and overt, systematic discrimination towards Black Americans – to the pursuit of equality and justice for all people.

For many years, we at Gonzaga have memorialized the life and works of Dr. King through acts of service and community gatherings. While we are unable to gather in-person as we have in years past, there are still many opportunities for community members who wish to do so, to listen, to pray, to reflect, and to participate:

The Dream Deferred: Discussions on MLK’s Legacy in This Moment
January 19, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Gonzaga students, staff and faculty are invited to join Ron Large, Inga Laurent, Bernadette Calafell and Kristine Hoover for informal discussion and support.
Register here in advance, to receive the Zoom link.

Ecumenical Prayer Service
January 22, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m., University Chapel
A liturgy offered by Gonzaga’s Office of Mission & Ministry.

The Site of the Midnight Epiphany
Three years ago, Gonzaga's Center for Community Engagement sponsored a Mission Possible trip to Montgomery, Alabama, where students had the honor of sitting inside the home of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Click on the link above to read reflections from those who had this life-changing opportunity.

On January 25, from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m., Fania Davis, a national speaker on restorative justice, will present Restorative Justice: Helping Us Re-Invent What it Means to Be Human. This event is sponsored by Gonzaga’s Center for Community Engagement. (CCE) and the Unity Multi-cultural Education Center (UMEC). To RSVP, visit Zagtivities or email umec@gonzaga.edu.

On Thursday, January 28 at 1:30 p.m., all members of the AJCU network are invited to a virtual lecture by Rev. Dr. Starsky D. Wilson, President and CEO of the Children's Defense Fund. This event has been co-organized by three AJCU institutions: Saint Louis University, Loyola University Maryland and the University of San Francisco. Click here to learn more and register online.
Gonzaga has created a website with these and other activities which have been planned for this month.

The annual commemoration of the life of Dr. King stands as a reminder that each and every day, we as individuals and as a community are invited to engage in the work of seeking and pursuing justice. Our own history, inclusive of the very challenging and unfortunate incidents that occurred within our community this past semester, underscore the need for our continued commitment to this work.

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


Thayne M. McCulloh, D.Phil.