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MLK Day Message from Nita Mosby Tyler

MLK Day Message from Nita Mosby Tyler:

The Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday means a great deal to me on a variety of levels. Certainly, one of the reasons is that this day represents a reminder to all of us that we have a tremendous responsibility to advance equity, so we all have the ability and positioning to thrive in this world. 

Even more personal is the fact that I grew up in the segregated South - in Atlanta, Georgia. I grew up during a time of tremendous racial tension in our country. I experienced Colored Only water fountains, No Negroes Allowed signs at restaurants and shops and even cross-burnings on my college campus. 

Also, during this time, my life put me in proximity to Dr. King. He pastored a church in Atlanta and his civil rights partner, Rev. Dr. Ralph David Abernathy, pastored a church a few miles down the road from King’s church. Dr. Abernathy was the pastor of my church. Because of that, it was not uncommon that the King family was at our church or vice versa. Interestingly, at the time, I had no idea that I was in the midst of what would later become the greatest social justice icons and leaders of our time. To me, Rev. Dr. King and Rev. Dr. Abernathy were two men who simply wanted the best for all of us. Little did I know that one day there would be a holiday created in honor of Dr. King that would later galvanize nations into action and service. 

Little did I know that one day I would be standing in front of crowds across the country, encouraging and uniting others towards change.

I am extremely honored to be the 2019 Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration speaker in Grand Junction. I consider Grand Junction and Colorado Mesa University family. The dedication of this university and this city to create systems where we can unite around social equity is extraordinary. Civil liberties have always been advanced through the efforts of universities across the country. Students have always been at the forefront of most of the major social movements in our history. I am filled with hope that our continued work to honor and learn about diversity, become more intentional about inclusiveness, measure our progress towards equality and advance systems of equity is moving us closer to realizing the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It is through the work of communities just like this one across our great country that we will achieve that dream. 

My message is simple. We are at less than full-capacity without each other. I need you and you need me. Our collective wisdom is stronger than our individual knowledge. My lived experience and your lived experience, together, tell a more complete story. My history and your history are uniquely tied together. We are the joint architects of what the world will look like for the future. 

I have a dream…and I see each of you in it.

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Written by Nita Mosby Tyler