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This year, America honored the 50th anniversary of a march on Washington, D.C., where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke his most memorable words: “I have a dream.” He reminded America of the “fierce urgency of now” and in his speech that day, Dr. King shaped an image that, for some, created the first glimmers of real hope. They were transformative words that would change a nation.

Half a dozen years later, these words were spoken: “That’s one small step for a man…” You know the rest. Everyone does. They are the most famous words never spoken on Earth. And they were spoken by a Boilermaker named Neil Armstrong. And 2013 marks the 150th anniversary of a Civil War that, but for one man, would have separated our United States forever. Many score and many years ago, Abraham Lincoln spoke at Gettysburg: “Four score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”

In recognition of the spoken word, the 2013-14 programmatic theme for the Division of Diversity and Inclusion is “The Power of the Spoken Word.” Throughout the year, we will offer programs and educational experiences, which underscore the power of the spoken word and how it impacts our ability to build a more inclusive campus community.

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