Letter to the editor: Requiem for a dream

As part of the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington celebration, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center held a symposium Wednesday to discuss the implications of the March, but also discussed race relations and diversity both in the U.S. and on campus at UK.

The symposium, featuring scholars from the Colleges of Law, Communication, Business and Economics, and Arts and Sciences, fostered a valuable, albeit brief discussion of racial inequalities and the progress and shortcomings of race relations since the March on Washington. While the conversation was valuable, it caused me to wonder why it doesn’t happen regularly and why it took such a significant anniversary in civil rights history for such an event to occur.

The MLK Center is a valuable resource in the university’s continual mission to promote and increase campus diversity. It offers a solid yearly schedule of events aimed toward educating and assisting students on diversity topics and skill building. Unfortunately symposiums and discussions are few and far between, and don’t seem to promote discussion of the issues affecting diversity on campus.

As someone experiencing their first MLK Center event, my eyes were opened to the history of UK and Lexington’s race relations and the problems that exist between the minority communities and the university.

As a white male, I was also educated about the history of minorities and their viewpoints on topics such as interracial marriage. Despite the growth of diversity on campus we still have problems and the best way to find solutions is to actively discuss them and pursue action.

Racial problems and diversity is something that the university could be proud of if it takes the right steps to progress. The MLK Center is on a mission to foster change and provide support and it should do so in the most effective way: by offering regular symposiums with scholars and students alike.