MIT honors Martin Luther King Jr. at 38th annual breakfast

MIT honors Martin Luther King Jr. at 38th annual breakfast

Jennifer Chu, MIT News Office | February 10, 2012

Diversity and education among breakfast-table topics.

On Thursday morning, hundreds from the MIT community gathered to honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. at the Institute’s 38th annual breakfast celebration of the late civil rights leader. At the event, where invited speakers reflected on the theme “Expanding the Possible,” President Susan Hockfield said that to achieve real diversity and inclusion, “we must answer inertia with momentum.”

“Without constant vigilance, old habits and well-worn pathways will prevail,” Hockfield said. “We need to engineer a set of underlying institutional mechanisms, expectations, habits and rhythms that make diversity and inclusion simply part of what we work on here, every day.”

In her remarks, Hockfield highlighted a number of efforts to cultivate diversity and inclusion in MIT’s faculty and student body: The School of Engineering is honing its procedures to recruit and mentor underrepresented minority (URM) graduate students and faculty; the School of Architecture and Planning is reaching out to its alumni to form a mentoring network for URM graduate students; and the School of Science is identifying new funds to expand its pool of URM faculty.

“Just as everyone at MIT shares responsibility for our mission, if we hope to continue ‘expanding the possible,’ we also share responsibility for making our diverse community thrive,” Hockfield said.

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