The following is an open letter to the Virginia Tech community.

To Virginia Tech students, faculty, staff and Hokies everywhere:

Good morning,

It seems especially fitting that we start the 2015 spring semester with a day to celebrate and remember Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  

His legacy continues to evolve through the hard work and sacrifices of those who followed him. Let us all commit to being among those who shape his legacy, and make tangible the promise of a future when one is judged “…by the content of their character,” and not by their, race, ethnicity, gender, age, disability, or any other physical characteristic or expression.

As you prepare for your first spring classes, move back to campus, or spend time with family and friends, please take time to reflect on what you can do to recognize your own biases, however subtle. And then be purposeful in setting those biases aside in your daily interactions with the people with whom you share classrooms, workspaces, living quarters and communities. Life will become much more interesting, vibrant, and challenging.

Over the next 10 days, you will have several opportunities to consider Dr. King’s legacy as Virginia Tech hosts “What Happened to the Dream”, a celebration featuring several events that are free and open to the public. You can learn more about these events online.

I hope you will also take time to visit the InclusiveVT web site. Reflect again on our Principles of Community. Review the diversity initiatives that have been submitted by the university’s deans, vice presidents and senior leaders. Consider participating in our Advisory Community.

Thank you for all you do to build a more inclusive, welcoming and diverse Virginia Tech community.

In the spirit of Ut Prosim,

Tim Sands

Share this story