Tom Naatz | January 24, 2018
Community members gathered Monday in the Joyce Athletic and Convocation Center for a luncheon celebrating the legacy Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Serving as a culmination of the University’s third annual Walk the Walk Week — which promotes diversity and inclusion on campus — the event featured thoughts and insights from a handful of community members. The keynote address was a conversation between former student body president and 2017 alumni Corey Robinson and his father, former NBA basketball player David Robinson, about King’s impact on the world.
Ann Firth, chief of staff to University President Fr. John Jenkins, welcomed attendees to the luncheon with a description of the goal Walk the Walk Week hopes to attain.
“As you know, this luncheon and the numerous campus events planned during Walk the Walk Week … are all designed to be occasions when we come together to reflect more deeply on who we are as a community,” Firth said. “These are also critically important opportunities to participate in the national and global conversations about diversity and inclusion. Conversations that are as important now as ever.”
After reading a quote from King emphasizing love, community and reconciliation, Firth said Notre Dame aims to achieve King’s vision of an inclusive community.
“Dr. King is describing the kind of community we seek to be at Notre Dame: one that recognizes the dignity of every member, welcomes each person fully, treasures their gifts as a reflection of God, supports them and shares their struggles,” Firth said. “As an academic community, we strive to explore, discuss and celebrate differences, as well as commonalities, thus enriching our grasp of truth and understanding.”
Sophomore and president of the Muslim Student Association, Hosnia Somadi, offered the invocation. She read two verses from Quranic surahs in Arabic before explaining their significance. She said both verses related to justice, particularly the idea that all of humans, regardless of belief, can be united through God. Somadi said she encourages the audience to find peace.