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Honoring the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

January 13, 2023

Dear members of the SLU community, 

In partnership with the Urban League of St. Louis, SLU hosted a community celebration of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Wednesday, January 11. 

It was a joyful gathering of more than 500 people, held for the first time since 2020. That event, with Ms. Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin, as the featured speaker, brought us opportunities to reflect on the power of Dr. King’s legacy and the importance of our continued efforts to foster racial justice. Thank you to all who were able to attend.

As we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, we continue to reflect on his wisdom and example.

Our Jesuit, Catholic mission calls us to put love for justice into action. Dr. King’s work demonstrated how communities of people, inspired by love and committed to ongoing action, can transform society in the spirit of the gospels. 

We know that SLU must continue to transform, in order to create a more equitable university and contribute to a more just region and world. We also believe that Dr. King’s legacy is with us. It can be found in our University’s pursuit of truth, in our commitment to racial and social justice, and in our community’s vast resources of creativity, compassion, and hope. 

We must continue to embrace Dr. King’s legacy, and to live it – in bold initiatives and everyday actions. Dr. King showed us that change is necessary, it is difficult, and it is possible. We must continue to work together to make it happen. 

May God bless the Saint Louis University community, and direct us ever toward the path of justice.


Fred P. Pestello, Ph.D.

Mike Lewis, Ph.D.

Fr. David Suwalsky, S.J.
Vice President for Mission & Identity

Rochelle D. Smith
Vice President for Diversity & Innovative Community Engagement