Standing in solidarity
A message from the Marquette University Alumni Association
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” These powerful words, shared by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., from his Birmingham Jail cell 57 years ago, could not be more applicable today. Overlooking Wisconsin Avenue, the quote is featured on the Varsity Theatre’s signage on our beloved Marquette University campus.
Like so many of you, we have felt shock, pain, anger and sadness over the past few weeks. These stinging emotions have seared into our every thought as we have viewed countless visuals of racism, hatred and police brutality across our nation.
These videos and stills have filled our phones and television screens for weeks now, but if we are listening, they have been playing on repeat for decades.
We learned timeless lessons of Ignatian reflection sitting in various Marquette classrooms during our student days. These lessons, and more importantly follow-up actions, have never been more needed today.
We are grateful to the Marquette leaders — President Michael R. Lovell and Vice President for Inclusive Excellence Dr. William Welburn — who proactively stepped forward to address our community during these monumental challenges and have also grown the most diverse student body in Marquette’s history.
Further, we are encouraged by the legacy of Marquette students and our alumni family who have championed progress for many years. Groundbreaking programs such as the Educational Opportunity Program and R.I.S.E. (Ready to Inspire Success and Excellence), to name a few, give us hope for a better, more inclusive future.
As Dr. Welburn noted, we can “shape a much-needed conversation moving forward, one that cannot take a summer vacation.” President Lovell encouraged us to use our voices and “stand in solidarity with our African American brothers and sisters.”
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If you are like us, you find yourselves seeking inspiration. Look no further than our current students and tomorrow’s future leaders, starting with the Marquette University Student Government Executive Board who said the following: “We have an obligation to create a community that will listen, understand and take action when something is unjust.”
Let’s continue to search for truth, listen and take action as we unite and stand together.
Micky Minhas, Eng ’89
President, Marquette University Alumni Association,
National Board of Directors
Trustee, Marquette University
Nkozi “Jay” Knight, Prof St ’08
President, Black Alumni Association
Sarah Burkhart, Bus Ad ’03, Grad ’12
Executive Director of the Alumni Association