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A call to recover Martin Luther King Jr.’s radicalism

Each year, the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day seems to come at a time when the nation is in deep reflection, contemplating everything from the news of the moment, to the meaning of the annual holiday itself.  This year’s celebrations at Northeastern focused on the latter. The university’s annual event, “A Tribute to the Dream: Voting Rights and the ‘Threat to Justice Everywhere,’” was streamed on Facebook on Monday. An array of presenters offered remarks on the occasion and explored the ways the civil rights icon’s message persists amid the turmoil of the present, as well as continues to inform the work of civil leaders, academics, and others. 

King’s memorable “I Have A Dream” speech, said Joseph E. Aoun, president of Northeastern University, “knew no national boundaries.” “Neither do racism and intolerance,” he added, calling on everyone to combat rising “racial injustice. Each one of us can contribute to building a more just and inclusive society,” Aoun continued. “A society strengthened by our diversity of identities and experiences, and enlightened by opportunity for all.”

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