I hope all of you had a restful break and were able to safely enjoy time with your loved ones. While I was happy to see the end of 2020, a year of so many unprecedented challenges, the first week of 2021 has certainly been a difficult one for our country. I want to encourage you to seek support if you need it, either through your own circles or by utilizing the mental health resources available to all staff. In times of unrest and uncertainty, I personally find great comfort in focusing on what I can control and the difference that I can make right now. And while none of us have the power to solve the world’s problems immediately, each of us has the opportunity to treat each other with respect, to show compassion to those around us, and offer a little more kindness.
This is also a time to focus on our shared values and our university’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. This month our campus will once again join the nation in celebrating the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This year’s virtual MLK Symposium will feature remarks by Gloria House, poet, essayist, educator and human rights activist, and Malik Yakini, co-founder and executive director of the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network. You can find more information about all of the MLK events and streaming details for the keynote on the MLK Symposium website.
We also invite you to participate in one of the facilitated discussion sessions we are hosting for all B&F staff, which will provide an opportunity for you to reflect on the symposium keynote presentation and engage in meaningful conversation with colleagues. You can find more information and registration details on our website. I hope you will plan to take part in one of the MLK Day events.
With much appreciation and gratitude,