Celebrating Diversity and Inclusion as We Honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The image of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is a modified version of an original provided by the Minnesota Historical Society via Creative Commons License.

It is remarkable that it has been nearly 60 years since Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. A man who dedicated his life to the pursuit of civil rights and racial equality, Dr. King lives on through his words that continue to inspire new generations to strive for peace, justice, and racial harmony.

While we pause to reflect and honor Dr. King’s life and legacy in commemoration of what would have been his 93rd birthday, it remains as important now as ever that we carry his message with us in our everyday lives rather than the one day in January designated a national holiday and day of service. Although we should celebrate how far we have come on this journey, it remains essential we recognize the work that lies ahead as we strive for equality.

As the largest specialized accreditor of HBCU business schools, we are deeply concerned about the recent bomb threats made to at least eight historically Black colleges and universities, including ACBSP member schools; prompting evacuations. Although all these threats were thankfully unfounded, they left students, faculty, staff, and neighborhoods shaken. Even though it was not immediately clear whether they were connected or racially motivated, threats of violence targeting any group for any reason are unacceptable and threaten the foundations of educational communities everywhere.

Dr. King dreamed of a world where equality would be the standard, and this should be the dream we all share. As the first woman of color to chair the ACBSP Board of Directors, I know that our membership can lead the way and bend the arc toward change and maintain the promise of hope for a better tomorrow. No matter how long and arduous the journey, we must remain steadfast in our resolve to improve ourselves and leave the world a better place for those who look to us for examples of scholarship and character. Each day presents gifts of opportunities to lift as we climb.

“I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality…I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.”

– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
From his 1964 Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech

ACBSP prides itself on a longstanding commitment to racial harmony and inclusion through meaningful actions. Initiatives like those developed through inclusive spaces like our Governing Boards and our Global Business Education Committee bring our membership together through scholarship and cultural exchange rather than divide us based on differences. ACBSP is immensely grateful to celebrate our affiliation with nearly 1,200 member campuses in sixty countries throughout the world. With 12,000 individual members, ACBSP impacts the lives, minds, and character of future generations of global leaders as we combine the lessons of our past with hopes for our future.

Prof. Deborah M. Gaspard

Chair, ACBSP Board of Directors
Faculty & Program Director of Marketing and Entrepreneurship
Metropolitan Community College
Omaha, NE, USA, Region 5

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