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David Wilson Statements

Committing to Dr. King's Charge to the Nation

by David K. Wilson
January 15, 2024

Dear Morgan Family,

Today, as we reflect on the transformational leadership and powerful dream of the late Dr.  Martin Luther King, Jr., I urge everyone to wake up and take note of what’s happening all around the nation, and world. Dr. King and many others gave their blood and lives to push America to live up to the ideals embedded in the U.S. Constitution—the inherent ideals of freedom, justice, democracy, inclusion, equality, and humanity. His efforts led to a more inclusive America where all people—regardless of color, ethnicity, creed or religion—had voting rights, civil rights, and a rightful place at the table of leadership and decision-making.

At the infancy of our constitution’s adoption, Benjamin Franklin was asked about the kind of government he and his compatriots were giving our budding nation, and his reply was, “A democracy if you can keep it.” Meaning that our republic was founded on the principle that it will continue only as long as the people keep democracy alive. I think, similarly, if Dr. King were still among us today, he would admonish and remind us, in that trademark powerful voice he often wielded, that the movement he led propelled the way for us to live out these ideals that had been denied to us—but it is up to us to keep them.

More than 55 years ago, Dr. King shared his poignant speech entitled “The Other America” with the world. That speech still resonates with me today. Indeed, progress has been made, but echoes of “The Other America” persist as we witness the subtle rise of the walls of “otherness” that threatens the more perfect union we envision and strive toward attaining. The chasms that have become characteristic of “The Other America” Dr. King scrutinized are percolating, and we are responsible for recognizing and dismantling these barriers. As we look ahead, we must fight like our ancestors did to not allow our country to go backward in time. We must recommit to Dr. King’s principles and take action to bridge the divides that threaten our unity. We must continue to speak out against hatred, racism, sexism, homophobia, religious bigotry, book banning, the erasure of our history, and outright disrespect for humanity. Especially, if we desire to stay on course to a more perfect union and world.

That’s the “King Charge,” as I plainly see it. We must wake up and don’t sleep on the dream. His dream. It is our dream. We must act now; one way to do so is by voting for change!

On Saturday, I attended the 39th Annual Scholarship Breakfast of the Howard Cornish Alumni Chapter of Morgan State University, which was held on campus in the Tyler Ballroom in the University Student Center. It was a packed house with a terrific speaker, Jericka Duncan, CBS News Anchor. As usual, the world-famous Morgan Choir, under the outstanding leadership of Dr. Eric Conway, had so many of us spellbound as it performed Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream Speech” in voice and music. While I hoped I would have videotaped it to share with you, I do not. But I can share on this occasion the Choir’s rendition of it performed a decade ago. Powerful!

Please listen and reflect on the charge before us.

Yours in service,
President Wilson