Carnegie Mellon University
January 15, 2021

Celebrate the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dear Members of the Carnegie Mellon Community:

As long-time members of the CMU community, we look forward each year to our community gathering to celebrate and honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. As we anticipate next week’s inauguration of President Biden and Vice President Harris, and the opportunity ahead to heal a divided nation, this year presents a poignant moment to contemplate Dr. King’s call to pursue justice, promote peace and serve others, while reaffirming these ideals as our own.

We are very pleased to announce that this year’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Keynote Speaker is Ibram X. Kendi, one of America’s foremost historians and leading antiracist scholars. A National Book Award-winning and #1 New York Times bestselling author of six books, Kendi is the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities and the Founding Director of the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research. To learn more and register for the event, visit the University Lectures Series website.

Dr. King stated that “An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.”  Even though we will not be able to come together for our traditional in-person events on MLK Day, we invite all members of the Carnegie Mellon community to take a pause to reflect upon the question: How will you continue to uplift Dr. King’s legacy in 2021?

In recognition of our MLK community celebration, a coalition of campus departments, student groups, Pittsburgh area organizations and thought leaders from across the country have partnered with the Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion to produce a series of events and service projects that will take place virtually through April. Please visit the 2021 Schedule of Events Celebrating the Life & Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for additional events and details and be sure to visit the Center’s website for sponsored activities throughout the year.

We hope you will find an opportunity to engage with fellow community members throughout these weeks of programs. And we hope that you will be inspired by Dr. King’s legacy of leadership, racial justice and advocacy in pursuit of a more just society for all.


Jim Garrett, Provost
Gina Casalegno, Dean of Students and Vice President for Student Affairs