Dear NMC community,

Today, as we recognize Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., I encourage us all to take time to reflect on his impact. Lately for me, one of the most meaningful passages is from Dr. King’s 1968 speech at the National Cathedral, just weeks before his assassination. He proclaimed, “We shall overcome because the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.”   

This is an unparalleled time in our nation’s history. The images from the violence at our nation’s capital on January 6th are still fresh in our minds, and the effects are still unfolding. I want to acknowledge how deeply disturbing it was to see the U.S. Capitol under siege that day, but also how important it was to witness members of Congress complete their constitutional responsibility and certify the vote. 

This act of violence on our nation’s capital goes against NMC’s core values: ethics, integrity, and trust. What happened there was also a stark reminder of the fragility of our democratic institutions. The event will impact each of us in different ways due to our own backgrounds and experiences. Still, we are all called to work hard to achieve a “more perfect union” to ensure that we help bend the long arc toward justice in our democracy.

NMC is committed to supporting its students’ educational goals. We encourage them to harness their minds and voices, their campus and civic engagement, and service to others, and in that process, to learn how to engage productively with those whose opinions differ from their own. We hold them, and ourselves, to this standard and expectation.

In response to last year’s nationwide social protests, we re-committed to our values in support of diversity, equity and inclusion efforts at NMC. I formally charged a new team of employees, students and community members to help us better embrace diversity, advance equity and justice, and build an inclusive and welcoming community with a shared sense of belonging. This passionate team has been doing tremendous work so far, and I look forward to sharing their initiatives and celebrating the positive impact at NMC.  

NMC students, as you reflect today, I hope you will also take the opportunity to participate in a students-only virtual showing of the 2020 documentary John Lewis: Good Trouble with Q&A to follow. Lewis began his lifelong dedication to civil rights as a college student working with Dr. King. He died at 84 last summer after serving as Congressman from Georgia’s 5th District. The event begins at 7 p.m. via Zoom and is sponsored by NMC Student Life and hosted by the DEI Student Team.

As we move forward in 2021, let us all work toward solutions that unite us and our country.

Be safe. Be well. Lead with service.

Nick

Nick Nissley, Ed.D. | President | Northwestern Michigan College

Northwestern Michigan College

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