A Welcome Message From Our Director

As another semester gets underway, our MLK staff wanted to convey our deep and sincere commitment to helping you achieve your academic and personal goals at the University of Minnesota. Inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King's courageous leadership and vision of racial equality, we strive to provide culturally competent, personalized, and holistic advising that supports the academic, social, and cultural needs of historically underserved students throughout their undergraduate careers. We also want to work collaboratively with you to create a welcoming and inclusive advising community that exemplifies Dr. King's vision of "the beloved community" where loving ties of care and knowing bind us together across our diverse identities and cultural traditions.

Like all of you, I have no memory of a living Dr. King. As a result, we are vulnerable to the selective amnesia of our society that reduces King to a figure who solely worked to help the United States overcome the problems of racism and segregation and embrace its cultural diversity. This limited view diminishes our capacity to see the full complexity of Dr. King's critique of racism's cousins, materialism and militarism. Dr. King was also very clear that creating a more just and equitable society involved a two-sided transformation, both of ourselves and our political-economic institutions. As King noted, the African Americans who were participants in the Civil Rights Movement transformed our society because they had "replaced self-pity with self-respect and self-depreciation with dignity." That is, personal and social change happen when we see ourselves not just as victims, but as new men and women who are part of an evolving more human society. We hope you will take full advantage of the resources we provide to support your development as academically-engaged leaders with the confidence, skills, and connections you need to accomplish your educational and professional goals while making positive contributions to the communities where you live, work, and/or play.

Peace & Strength,

Andrew Williams

Director of Student Diversity Support Programs

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