MIT April 18: Day of Engagement, Day of Action -- Call for Participation
We, the undersigned members of MIT and the broader local community, declare our intent to pause our everyday activities on April 18, 2017, and to devote this day to engaging -- through learning, discussion, and planning for action -- with the political, economic, and social challenges facing us today. Each of us carries our own distinct understanding of what these challenges are and which are most pressing -- including: hate crimes and discrimination on the basis of sex, gender and gender identity, race, ethnicity, religion, disability, and country of origin; the waning of fact-based debate in our public sphere; declining job opportunities in the workforce; climate change and disparities in access to a healthy environment; the concentration of wealth in the hands of a few; the fragmentation of political discourse; the ever-present possibility of nuclear war; the long-term expansion of executive power in our federal government; our university's own role in reshaping the local, national, and global socioeconomic landscape; and many more. By sharing our individual knowledge and experiences we can better position ourselves to arrive at a common understanding of these challenges and overcome them through collective action.
This day's event is a call to renewed civic engagement among the scholars, students, and staff of our community, inspired by MIT's historic leadership in the March 4 Movement of 1969 (
), and a call to open-minded dialogue with peers and colleagues of diverse backgrounds and views. In this day’s event we stand in solidarity with friends and colleagues of Princeton University, who are holding a similar event on March 6, 2017 (
), and we act to fulfill MIT’s mission “to bring knowledge to bear on the world’s great challenges.”
On April 18 we will be holding a coordinated set of on-campus activities, including lectures, town-hall sessions, film screenings, and workshops. We invite the entire MIT campus and the broader community to join together and participate. Every member of our community, regardless of political affiliation, can contribute to identifying and seeking out the roots of the greatest challenges facing our society, and to planning for actions addressing these challenges in the present day and in times to come. We intend this day of action to be open to all, representing the full diversity of our community. We are made stronger by open, respectful dialogue and the exchange of ideas from the widest variety of intellectual, religious, class, cultural, and political perspectives.
Please sign this letter if you support our concerns, and join us on April 18!
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