Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Dear OSU Community Members,

As the university continues this week to honor the message and many contributions of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I hope you will continue to learn about Dr. King’s legacy and be engaged in this week’s activities celebrating his life and leadership.

The heavy lifting needed to advance diversity, equity and inclusion throughout Oregon State University cannot fall to a select few. While OSU has offices, staff and leaders designated to advance this work, we each must be engaged in our daily work to create the kind of fully inclusive community we hope to realize if we are going to thrive as individuals, as a community and as a university in the 21st century.

The national debate on voting rights legislation occurring now in Washington D.C. and in many states across the nation underscores the importance of Dr. King’s advocacy in the 1950’s and 60’s for equal rights and justice, and the need for each of us to be informed and engaged.

On Monday, I had the pleasure of speaking during the university’s peace breakfast, an annual centerpiece of the university’s celebration of Dr. King. I was honored to participate, and I share with you here the comments that I made at the breakfast.

I also was honored to help recognize Instructor Samantha Chisholm Hatfield; students Mateo Olmos from the Corvallis campus and Cazandra Aporbo from OSU-Cascades; Tarron Anderson from the Office of Equal Opportunity and Access; and 1989 OSU graduate Eric Knox for their significant contributions to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion and success within the university and beyond. Here is a link to a news release about these award recipients.

In closing, I share that my commitment to advance diversity, equity and inclusion work is unwavering. I ask that you join me and others engaged in this essential work. Together, we can work to eliminate all forms of oppression, advance success for all and create an environment where everyone knows they belong.

I look forward to continued collaboration with you on these imperative efforts.

 

Sincerely,
Becky Johnson
President