William G. Gilroy | January 27, 2017
Three thousand members of the University community gathered Monday (Jan. 23) to reflect on the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. and what they mean for America today in the midst of national division. The second annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Luncheon, sponsored by the Office of the President and the President’s Oversight Committee on Diversity and Inclusion, marked the start of the University’s “Walk the Walk Week” observance.
The luncheon program featured remarks by President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., and a conversation with U.S Court of Appeals Judge Ann Claire Williams, a Notre Dame alumna and trustee, with Luis Fraga, co-director of the Institute for Latino Studies and professor of political science, as convener.
In his opening remarks, Fraga discussed King’s emphasis on the importance of conscience and what it means for our individual and national consciences today. Fraga noted that among the most significant ways that King enlightened, and in this way, empowered us, was through his call that we use our faith, our reasoning, and our actions to become people of conscience.
“At this celebration of Dr. King’s life and legacy, may we all open our hearts to receive the Holy Spirit to allow our individual and our nation’s consciences to grow. I can only think that he would agree that if we do this, as individual children of God and as a nation of high aspirations and ideals, we would grow in our abilities to allow love and its consequent goodness to guide our deepest beliefs, thoughts, and actions. We will grow in our individual and national consciences. What a gift Dr. King gives us once again on this day of celebration.”