Ted Childs at MIT – 33rd Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration 2007

[MUSIC PLAYING] [MUSIC – “SING”] CHOIR: (SINGING) Now is the time for all people from every land to come together Now is the moment for worship We enter in withholding nothing He’s worthy, exalted He’s high and lifted up Sing, sing unto the Lord Open up your heart Make a joyful noise in the sanctuary Sing, sing unto the Lord Lavish Him with love Let the praises ring in the sanctuary Sing Sing Now is the time for all people from every land to come together Now is the moment for worship We enter in withholding nothing He’s worthy, exalted He’s high and lifted up Sing, sing unto the Lord Open up your heart Make a joyful noise in the sanctuary Sing, sing unto the Lord Lavish Him with love Let the praises ring in the sanctuary Sing Sing unto the Lord Open up your hearts Make a joyful noise in the sanctuary Sing, sing unto the Lord Lavish Him with love Let the praises ring in the sanctuary Sing Sing Sing Sing Got to open up your mouth and give Him praise Open up your heart and give Him praise Lift up holy hands unashamed in the sanctuary Got to open up your mouth and give Him praise Open up your heart and give Him praise Lift up holy hands unashamed Sing, sing, sing Got to open up your mouth and give Him praise Open up your heart and give Him praise Lift up holy hands unashamed in the sanctuary Got to open up your mouth and give Him praise Open up your heart and give Him praise Lift up holy hands unashamed Sing, sing, sing Got to open up your mouth and give Him praise Open up your heart and give Him praise Lift up holy hands unashamed in the sanctuary Got to open up your mouth and give Him praise Open up your heart and give Him praise Life up holy hands unashamed Sing, sing, sing Got to open up your mouth and give Him praise Open up your heart and give Him praise Lift up holy hands unashamed in the sanctuary Got to open up our mouth and give Him praise Open up your heart and give him praise Lift up holy hands unashamed Sing, sing sing [APPLAUSE] [MUSIC – “HOLD OUT”] I’m going to hold out, going to hold out until He comes God has just begun to make a way, make a way for me I’m going to hold out, going to hold out until He comes God has just begun to make a way, way Storm clouds may rise, strong winds may blow

But I know the Lord will take me through it all He’ll make a way, make a way for me I’m going to hold out, going to hold out until He comes God has just begun to make a way, make a way for me I’m going to hold out, going to hold out until He comes God has just begun to make a way, way Storm clouds may rise Strong winds may blow But I know the Lord will take me through it all He’ll make a way, make a way for me I’m going to hold out, going to hold out until He comes I’m going to hold out, going to hold out until He comes I’m going to hold out, going to hold out until He comes I’m going to hold out, going to hold out until He comes Hold out until He comes Hold out until He comes Hold out until He comes Hold out until He comes Don’t give up Don’t give in Hold on until He comes Don’t give up Don’t give in Hold out until He comes I’m going to hold out, going to hold out until He comes God has just begun to make a way, make a way for me [APPLAUSE] PEARCE: Good morning, everyone AUDIENCE: Good morning PEARCE: Good morning, everyone AUDIENCE: Good morning PEARCE: I’m Nicholas Pearce I’m a senior in the Department of Chemical Engineering And I will be your master of ceremonies this morning Please join me in thanking the MIT gospel choir for opening our program [APPLAUSE] Dr. King, being a pastor and civil rights leader, was a servant of the people And in the spirit of Dr. King, we would like for you to greet, hug, or shake hands with someone near you at your table, behind you, or across from me Again, everyone, welcome Welcome, welcome to the 33rd annual Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration It’s truly a real joy to see all of your beautiful faces here this morning as we gather together to celebrate the life and legacy of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I’d like to take this moment to thank our president, Susan Hockfield, and her husband, Dr Thomas Byrne, for hosting this event [APPLAUSE] I would also like to welcome our guest speaker, Mr. Ted Childs,

who is our keynote speaker It’s a pleasure to have you here this morning [APPLAUSE] Furthermore, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the members of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Planning Committee, to whom we owe this wonderful morning When I call your name, when I call your name, please stand and remain standing Associate Professor Larry Anderson [APPLAUSE] Associate Professor Martin Culpepper [APPLAUSE] Professor John de Monchaux [APPLAUSE] Professor Jerome Friedman [APPLAUSE] Associate Dean Arnold Henderson, Jr [APPLAUSE] Assistant Director of Career Services Deborah Liverman [APPLAUSE] Co-director of the Office of Government and Community Relations Paul Parravano [APPLAUSE] Associate Professor J. Phillip Thompson [APPLAUSE] An administrator in the Department of Political Science, Tobie Weiner [APPLAUSE] Reverend [? John ?] [? Wusnick. ?] [APPLAUSE] Chancellor Phillip L. Clay, ex-officio [APPLAUSE] Assistant Dean Christopher Jones, ex-officio [APPLAUSE] Senior writer of the News Office, Sarah Wright, ex-officio [APPLAUSE] And committee co-chairs Associate Dean Karl Reid [APPLAUSE] And co-chair Professor Michael Feld [APPLAUSE] Thank you all for contributing to the success of this event Thank you very much [APPLAUSE] The theme for this year’s breakfast is maximizing potential, the congruence of diversity and excellence By choosing this theme, the committee aims to showcase how and why diversity enriches the research, academic, and community triad that embodies MIT’s mission and focus We’ll begin this morning’s program with an invocation from Reverend Robert Randolph Following the invocation, we will have breakfast and then resume the program with a musical selection Now let us receive the Chaplain to the Institute, Reverend Robert Randolph, who will offer the invocation [APPLAUSE] RANDOLPH: It is always good to precede breakfast Let us pray together Almighty God, we ask your presence with us on this day when we remember your servant, Martin Luther King, Jr. We remember that he challenged us to make real the promises of America And we confess that we have not always done so We have made progress, but we have far to go before justice is established, and mercy flows like living water We are reminded of our failures by our brother, James Shirley We give thanks for his courage and pray that his witness will sharpen our commitment to deal with the racism that too often confronts us Give us wisdom as we respond to James Give him strength, and give us strength as we seek together to grapple with the scourge that we confront And we pray that you will be present with us today, that we may learn from one another

and leave this place committed anew to the notion that it is not what we know, but who we are that will make a difference in our world Hear our prayer, Almighty God, and let the congregation say, Amen PEARCE: Ladies and gentlemen, I hope you have enjoyed your breakfast I’ve surely enjoyed mine and the conversations that we’ve had at our table as well We’ll now continue with the rest of our program Please welcome Mr. [? Hiram ?] [? Etienne, ?] a staff member in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science [APPLAUSE] Good morning Whoa I’d just like to share with you one thing before I get started as well And it’s something that encourages me, something Martin Luther King said And I won’t say it exactly right probably, but you’ll get the thought behind it, which is injustice and inequality anywhere is a threat to justice and equality everywhere [APPLAUSE] [MUSIC – “FATHER HELP YOUR CHILDREN”] (SINGING) Father, help your children Don’t let them fall by the side of the road And teach them to love one another That heaven might find a place in their hearts And Jesus is love Oh, he won’t let you down And I know, I know he’s mine forever in my heart Listen You’ve got to walk on Oh, walk on through temptation because his love and his wisdom will be a helping hand And I know the truth and his word will be our salvation Just lift up our hearts to be thankful and glad ’cause Jesus somebody got to help me this morning He’s mine Oh, he won’t let you down And I know, I know he’s mine forever

He, he’s mine I’m trying to tell you whatever you’re going through this morning I’m trying to tell somebody that he’s mine and I, I know he’s mine forever I’m going to tell you something then Love’s got the power Love’s got the glory forever Oh, deep down in my heart, love, love’s got the power Love’s got the glory forever, oh Help me this morning Love’s got the power this morning Love’s got the power Thank you [APPLAUSE] PEARCE: My Thank you for that moving selection, [? Hiram. ?] I now have the pleasure and privilege of introducing two of our very own students, Tabitha Bonilla, a senior in biology and political science, and Elizabeth Clay, a graduate student in urban studies and planning and a policy advisor for our new governor, Deval Patrick Tabitha and Elizabeth are both very active members of the MIT community Tabitha, the former president of the Society for Hispanic Professional Engineers, and Elizabeth is the co-chair of the Ad Hoc Diversity Committee of the MIT Graduate Student Council, which is a new committee hoping to get permanent status here at MIT They will guide us in a reflection on the life and legacy of Dr. King We’ll hear first from Tabitha Bonilla Tabitha [APPLAUSE] BONILLA: Good morning My name is Tabitha Bonilla, and I’m a senior majoring in political science and biology It is a great honor for me to stand before you today at a breakfast commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, a man whose legacy has laid the foundation for our continued pursuit of equality and diversity In his work, Dr. King divided the civil rights movement into two components The first exposed the ugliness of racism, segregation, disenfranchisement, hate, and violence These include attitudes, judgments, and actions directly victimizing a certain race or ethnicity The second of Dr King’s civil rights initiatives addressed what he termed as the limitations to our achievements, those institutions preventing economic, academic, and professional equality To say that discrimination still exists should not be a surprise to anyone We can all cite instances of overt discrimination When, for example, the 2007 MLK seminars installation commemorating Dr. King’s life and legacy was vandalized in Lobby 10 Times when we were called names, followed around stores, or had our abilities judged on the basis of our skin color or the sound of our names Likewise, we are all aware of the shockingly low numbers of underrepresented minority faculty and graduate students We have even heard of the disappointingly high number of African-American, Latino, and Native American students who did not complete their undergraduate or high school education In academic institutions such as MIT, we tend to concentrate on these statistics But what about those less obvious ones of discrimination? It is still acceptable to crack jokes about another culture to get a good laugh It is fine to make assumptions about people until those assumptions are made about us

But why do we ignore those issues? We say it is because these forms of racism are less recognizable and often because we are unaware that we are participating in a form of discrimination Unfortunately, these subtle forms of prejudice are the ones that tend to be more prevalent in our society For me, the most interesting comments have been those related to my understanding of diversity and my inclusion within the minority community Oddly enough, these comments have been made by people of almost every race and ethnicity, with many coming from fellow underrepresented minorities My understanding of diversity has been challenged because I grew up in Montana, a small state with few minorities I’ve been told that a lack of experience with discrimination precludes me from really understanding civil rights issues, that because my ancestors came of their own free will to the United States, and not in chains, that I could not possibly understand the issues I have been criticized by some because while I claim a Hispanic heritage, I speak more German than Spanish People making these remarks have been assuming things based on what they think they know about my background What they do not know is that my family has experienced discrimination since they entered this country My mother’s family came to the United States as German immigrants seeking asylum because of their Jewish heritage Her father was later imprisoned and tortured during World War II My father’s parents were brought here as children Both of their families were trying to escape poverty in Mexico They subsequently relocated to Montana from Texas, trying to escape discrimination Despite their past experiences, neither side of my grandparents, much like the rest of society, supported my parents’ interracial marriage Fortunately for me, my parents did not let these experiences color their judgments Instead, they learned to value their differences in culture and have incorporated components of each other’s background in our everyday life This is why my mother now eats her eggs with tortillas, instead of toast, and my father eats sauerkraut on meatballs I did not mention this story to suggest that we all need to lose or necessarily combine our cultural identities Rather, I aim to show that the excellence found in diversity is lost when we fail to appreciate and accept each other’s differences Unconsciously, we can all take part in something seemingly innocuous that causes us to classify others on the basis of race and ethnicity When we do this, the cohesion and communication between different ethnic and racial groups suffers, and the diversity no longer means progress In order to achieve true diversity, we must do more than bring together a group of people with different skin tones We must learn to genuinely appreciate and respect different backgrounds, cultures, and beliefs Only then can we champion the cause and work to complete the entirety of Dr. King’s dream As we leave here today, let us remember our individual parts in promoting diversity, and only then will we be able to experience the excellence that comes with it Thank you [APPLAUSE] PEARCE: Thank you very much, Tabitha Thank you for sharing your experiences and for your very heartfelt reflections Very moving We will now hear from Ms. Elizabeth Clay Elizabeth [APPLAUSE] ELIZABETH CLAY: Good morning, everyone AUDIENCE: Good morning ELIZABETH CLAY: My name is Elizabeth Clay, and it is my honor to be able to speak to the MIT community today, to celebrate the life of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. We convene in another moment of contrast in America, a year that I believe would make Dr King proud, proud of the achievement and potential of political leaders, such as presidential candidate Barack Obama, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, and a more

diverse political leadership in Congress However, I believe that he would still be angry about the neglect of New Orleans and its people and the world’s unwillingness to save the lives of our brothers and sisters in Darfur Here at MIT, we’re not just observers of the world around us, but we have the opportunity to be change agents and opinion leaders on these issues And I hope that MIT extends socially just community supporting work in New Orleans and commit to divest from companies working in the Sudan This morning, a morning I’m very sad to say finds our own community at MIT divided I’ll focus my thoughts on the theme diversity and excellence The term diversity has come to be focused on the inclusion of groups, such as women and racial minorities, who, historically, have been locked out from institutions and processes of power Only when all of the talent comes to the table can true excellence emerge This is the importance of diversity as fair play Dr. King dreamed of a world of equality and justice, where every individual has the opportunity to participate in and contribute to institutions, communities, and practices that he or she is qualified for I do believe that this is generally a shared value at MIT, but considering our society’s deep history of exclusion, more is required to enable diverse populations to produce excellent outcomes As a master’s student in urban planning, I often think about what makes a city great And while tastes vary about the type of environment people choose to live in, certain cities are magnets for international and local migrants New York, London, Mumbai, Sao Paolo all draw some of the best and brightest, the most creative and most clever New citizens dare to make their marks there, and in doing so, make those cities wealthy and vibrant Their excellence and their diversity exist in a virtuous cycle The constant flow of new people from around the world makes them strong and adaptable But it is often those who bring so much to the city, with their labor, their ideas, their new small businesses, who struggle to afford the cities that they help to build Scholars have discussed the role of Mexican-American immigrants in bringing economic and social vitality to America’s Sun Belt cities Yet many of these families struggle with stagnant wages, limited services, and social intolerance in the very same places Similar economic and social stigmatization faces construction workers who build the gleaming towers of Mumbai, yet go home to illegal settlements with no water and no toilets Those who struggle continuously to make a more tolerant nation, a nation that lives up to its promises of fairness and justice, are frequently made to suffer as well Everyday activists who fight sexism and homophobia are punished for daring against the status quo The price Dr. King had to pay to make America a better place for all of us was a lifetime of threats on him and on his loved ones, finally ending in his own assassination Even today, in the 21st century, Dalit people, formerly known as untouchables in India, are killed for objecting to slavery-like work conditions Their efforts to make the country of their birth live up to the promises of the constitution are rewarded with murder Interpersonal bigotry and institutional racism, sexism, and classism are threats to building a truly thriving society and exist at MIT and all of America’s universities The responsibility we have as privileged people– and we are all likely privileged in some ways, even if we are marginalized in others– whether it’s homeowners or voters, or current students, faculty, and staff in a leading university, is to create an enabling environment for diversity to flourish and for people to reach their potential unencumbered by prejudice Promoting affordable housing, providing basic amenities to all residents allows all of the city’s workers to benefit from the city that they have created Expressing tolerance and rejecting bigoted acts reduces the heavy emotional costs on individuals who have been marginalized and lift burdens that threaten their chances for success And here at MIT, while we all excel in some part of our careers or our studies, we have not yet cracked the code on building a fully tolerant and supportive society This divisive moment, with allegations of racism swirling through the halls, is an opportunity to address a forbidden topic The Institute’s leadership must do more We must seize this moment to do more than just talk They can take this opportunity to listen

Listen to the concerns and fears and hopes of students, faculty, and staff And then to act together to create a more tolerant and open community, where people of all backgrounds feel valued for their contributions The GSE Diversity Committee has made an attempt to begin these type of discussions among graduate students But sadly, it faces resistance from some students who think that diversity is a passing trend or an attempt for minorities to receive special treatment The graduate body at MIT continues to have shamefully low numbers of underrepresented minority graduate students And at a campus discussion last week on cultural identity, many international students said that they feel voiceless here at MIT and feel emotionally exhausted by being misunderstood by colleagues We are all reduced intellectually, spiritually, and morally when members of our community are silenced or silence themselves out of fear and discomfort For the GSE to vote for a permanent diversity committee at next month’s meeting would be a step in the right direction for the student body to say that a tolerant environment is important, both for current students and to attract the best talent from around the world Fear of change paralyzes the privileged as vigorously as hope for change rouses the marginalized Therefore, leaving the challenge of creating a supportive atmosphere for excellence to emerge to individuals alone is untenable Coalitions of people and institutions should work proactively to create a more positive and enabling environment for diversity and excellence to converge This is not a favor from rich to poor or from one race to another, but an investment in a more fair and prosperous world Again, we at MIT are not just observers of the world around us, but have the opportunity and responsibility to make change Thank you [APPLAUSE] PEARCE: Thank you very much, Elizabeth And certainly, we accept your challenge to be positive agents of change in our world Once again, I’d like to thank both Tabitha and Elizabeth for their very poignant and timely words and for letting the spirit of Dr. King be renewed in this contemporary context [APPLAUSE] Now I have the honor of inviting Chancellor Phillip Clay to come and recognize the 2006, 2007 Martin Luther King Leadership awardees Chancellor Clay [APPLAUSE] PHILLIP CLAY: I want to thank both of our student speakers for their great remarks and for their challenges to us Dr. King was first and foremost a preacher And one of the lessons, though, from a sermon that is a favorite of mine has to do with the meaning of leadership And in a discussion with a couple of his disciples, one of whom asked to be awarded leadership, he indicated to them that leadership is not awarded, that leadership is given to those who are first servants– those who serve and serve in an important way They are awarded leadership by their peers We had a wonderful dinner last night to celebrate the awardees, and we won’t go over the whole program, but I do want to introduce the awardees and give you a little bit of a sense of why these servants have been awarded the leadership awards from last night First of all, let me ask Mr Nathaniel Gerald to stand [APPLAUSE] Nathaniel has been at MIT for many years and has worked in the mail room, but his most important service to MIT has been in his role as community glue Now many of us, especially those of you who are new to MIT

and who believe all of your news comes from email, there are those of us who remember and appreciate the great role that Gerald and others of his colleagues played in coming to visit us each morning to bring us information material, good news and bad news from other parts of the Institute So his role in providing this service over many years, something many of us remember with great fondness, represents an important way that he has served the MIT community for many years Thank you very much, Gerald [APPLAUSE] Let me ask Michelle Harton and Austin Harton to stand [APPLAUSE] These two alumni serve us in an important way Not only have they had outstanding professional careers in Chicago and have served in a variety of roles at the Chicago chapter of Black Alumni of MIT, they have set a model for how to do the kind of outreach which goes a long way to make MIT a great institution and to make sure this continues They and their colleagues were responsible for recruiting seven of the class of 2007 black students at MIT Their role in outreach to dozens of schools in the Chicago area made our task especially easy Not only did they provide the kind of outreach to these seven students, but they provided service to many dozens of students, who, whether they come to MIT or not, will be part of the advancement in STEM fields that will be so important to us So we honor their initiative and service in leading us to these outstanding young men and women Thank you very much [APPLAUSE] La Tonya Green [APPLAUSE] La Tonya is a PhD student in urban studies and planning, but we honor her for a couple of other roles First of all, upon completing her master’s degree, she went to work for about three years in the Paterson, New Jersey schools and developed an outstanding program that linked public education, secondary education, to important aspects of community development, using the skill and methods of design to provide an extra leavening to high school reform in Paterson, New Jersey I also want to remind our colleagues that she has played an important role as a student leader both in the first incarnation of her time at MIT as a graduate student and more recently in her time as a PhD student Thank you very much [APPLAUSE] Finally, I will ask Ike Colbert to stand [APPLAUSE] Is there anybody here who doesn’t know that Ike is retiring? I warned Ike a couple of years ago about the long goodbye And I advised him earlier this week that he should begin to prepare some remarks for these events I need not say much more, except that Ike,

both in his role as an administrative officer and for the last dozen years in the dean’s office and the last seven years as dean of graduate students, Ike has played a very, very special role to many of us who have had the pleasure of being his colleague and to generations of graduate students, some of whom– all of whom benefited greatly from it, though some of them had to visit him more than once to get the message He is nevertheless a person who has served MIT with great distinction and dedication And for that service, we are grateful Thank you very much [APPLAUSE] PEARCE: Thank you very much, Chancellor Clay On a personal note, I must mention that I am particularly pleased that the Hartons were recognized for their tireless efforts In fact, I must say that I am one of the now famous Chicago Seven [APPLAUSE] Congratulations to each of you Your tireless efforts have not gone unnoticed The Black Students Union lounge has had an impact on many of us in the MIT community Here to reflect on the impact of the lounge and to speak about the recent improvements, please welcome Mr Richard Burgess, a sophomore in the Department of Civil Engineering and Environmental Engineering And he is also senior co-chair of the Black Students Union Richard [APPLAUSE] BURGESS: Good morning Next year will mark the 40th anniversary of the pivotal events that led to a seven-fold increase in the number of students of color who entered MIT freshman class over the previous year At that time, the Black Student Union was led by Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson, now the president of RPI She and her colleagues listed as one of the 12 requests to then President Howard Johnson the establishment of, quote, “an Afro-American center run by the MIT Black Student Union, where students can meet and where examples of black culture could be on display.” This center, called the BSU Lounge, is located outside those doors and has undergone major renovations This week, the BSU will be celebrating the renovation of the Black Students Union lounge, a safe student space that has been affiliated with the organization since 1968 Over the past few years, the members of the BSU have seen the need to revitalize the lounge And through the generosity of the Chancellor’s Office, the black alumni of MIT, and student life programs, we have been able to make significant enhancements to this space These additions include new audio visual system, new lighting, and new furnishings At the conclusion of this program, I invite you to view the lounge so that you may see for yourselves the improvements to the space Armed with this newly renovated lounge, the Black Students Union is fully equipped to realize its dual goal of creating a sense of community for black students at MIT and impacting both the MIT and greater Boston community Thank you [APPLAUSE] PEARCE: Thank you very much, Ricky As he mentioned and I also encourage you, please visit the Black Students Union lounge It’s right outside these doors here Please visit the lounge later on this morning It now gives me great pleasure to welcome the 16th president of MIT, Dr. Susan Hockfield She will give some remarks and speak to MIT’s congruence of diversity and excellence After her remarks, she will introduce our keynote speaker, Mr. Ted Childs President Hockfield [APPLAUSE] HOCKFIELD: Good morning, everybody AUDIENCE: Good morning HOCKFIELD: I want to add my thanks to everyone’s–

to the organizing committee for this year’s Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration As was mentioned earlier, this is the 33rd annual celebration of Dr. King’s life and legacy Extraordinary comment on MIT’s dedication to these principles Special thanks go to Professor Michael Feld and Dean Karl Reid for their work as co-chairs I would mention that Professor Feld’s leadership in particular has been critical to the success of this annual event for many years, and I want to invite you to join me in thanking him [APPLAUSE] I also want to add my congratulations to those that have already been spoken to this year’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Award winners Congratulations, Nathaniel, La Tonya, Michelle, and Austin And special thanks to you, Ike I’ve known Dean Ike Colbert and his commitment to the Institute and its students from my first years in academic leadership, long before I arrived at MIT I met Ike when I had just started as dean of the graduate school at Yale University, and he served as a very powerful mentor to me in those early years So thank you on behalf of the Institute, and thank you personally [APPLAUSE] And finally, and certainly last is not least, I want to thank this year’s student speakers Tabitha, Elizabeth, and Richard, thank you so much, so much for inspiring us with your powerful remarks [APPLAUSE] Now I want to begin my own remarks with a brief personal reflection And then I’m going to let that short reflection lead into some thoughts on where we are today and where we want to be tomorrow On January 15 this year was the national day of celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. King Part of my own personal reflection for the day was to reread the words of Dr. King in his now iconic “I Have a Dream” speech The speech never fails to move me as it did when I first heard it now many, many years ago and as it has moved and inspired millions of others in the nearly 45 years since it was delivered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial Every time I read that speech, some passages seemed to me a well-known well-loved tune And every time I read it, at least one passage sings a new song to me and strikes me in a new way So it is with only the most powerful expressions of the human spirit This year, one passage in particular really just jumped off the page It harmonized with my own reflections, and it joined with my thoughts on our work together here at MIT As Dr. King describes our forward path toward justice for all, he says we cannot walk alone And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead We cannot turn back I believe that the most powerful way we can honor Dr. King at this annual breakfast is to assess our progress on the march and to affirm our commitment as a community to accelerate the pace of change We’re gathered this morning at a painful moment for the MIT community Professor James Shirley has raised issues that reach beyond any single individual or any single institution In this difficult time, our deepest concern, our deepest concern is for Professor Shirley’s health and for the impact of this situation on his family– his wife Marian, who is a respected and beloved member of our community, and for their two young daughters But our concern also reaches into the larger MIT community because, as Dr. King reminds us, none of us walks alone

We will only move ahead if we do so together If MIT today is to advance its historic mission of teaching, research, and service, we simply must increase the opportunities for minority faculty, students, and staff Let me first speak about our faculty Our faculty itself has made an important commitment to accelerating our progress in the May 2004 faculty resolution Overall, the number of minority faculty at the Institute has doubled– doubled since 1990 However, the numbers are still way too small As of October 2005, less than 5% of our faculty were members of minority groups I say that, but I follow quickly with reminding us that there are some encouraging signs of progress First, of the new faculty who arrived at MIT this year, 11 and 1/2% are members of underrepresented minority groups You heard me correctly– 11 and 1/2% this year This year, we welcomed to campus eight Martin Luther King, Jr. visiting professors and scholars, more than ever before in this program And we together have been working toward an Institute leadership that reflects the diversity of our community In our departments, our labs, our centers, and at the level of the Academic Council, our academic and administrative leadership is now more diverse than it has ever been before Still, we remain acutely aware that the numbers remain small, much smaller than we’d like But as we chart the course of our walk together, we can point to powerful proof that concerted institutional effort can make a difference That proof lies in MIT’s own ongoing work in gender equity The study of women faculty in the School of Science and its successors in the other schools had a powerful impact not just at MIT, but around the nation and around the world We want our new initiative on minority faculty issues recently announced by the provost to have the same catalytic impact and to demonstrate the same kind of institutional and national leadership This new initiative will build on important work over the past year The review of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholars Program, charged by Provost Reif a year ago, has produced some important new ideas about how this program might help accelerate our progress in bringing new minority scholars to our campus And we’ve announced plans for a new office of the Associate Provost for Faculty Equity, and we’re now in an active search for its first leader Our new initiative will examine and assess what we have accomplished and also how race might still affect the recruitment, the retention, and the experiences of underrepresented minority faculty members at MIT The committees the provost appointed last year to address minority recruitment and retention issues will be merged into this new initiative We’re now moving toward the appointment of a core team That team will consult with– and to Elizabeth’s reminder– will listen to, listen closely to, our minority faculty and others to define a process– we’ll define the process together that will lead to a comprehensive, rigorous, and systematic study of these issues The core team will also assess the resources needed to carry out this effort thoroughly We believe that this initiative will provide the critical information needed to develop the most effective ways to strengthen the representation and the career experiences of underrepresented minority faculty members at MIT I assure you that the Provost and I are deeply committed to this initiative as a stimulus for real change at the Institute and as a national example As we move forward to increase opportunities within the faculty, we will continue to do the same for students and staff Our progress in each of these domains will amplify our success and the others as we build a more diverse and more inclusive MIT MIT has a reputation as an excellent employer, acknowledged by national awards But we cannot deny that we are not yet where we want to be

with respect to the diversity of our staff, nor have we yet laid the paths to career advancement that can inspire the best work and build the strongest organizations The human resources department has launched promising efforts to reach out to minority communities And our new vice president for human resources, Dr. Allison Aldon, has made it clear that this will be a central issue for her But recruiting and developing a more diverse staff requires hard work all across the community at all steps of the process Whenever there is a vacancy to fill, a promotion to be made, or a project to be assigned, I am certain that working together, we can make real progress Our progress has been greater in student issues, as we just heard, thanks to the activities in Chicago and elsewhere But we cannot be complacent And with respect to graduate students in particular, there is still very much work to do When I first spoke to the MIT community in August of 2004, I said that I wanted MIT to be the dream of every child who wants to make the world a better place I meant it then, and I mean it now To achieve that dream, we must continue to dismantle any impediments that may keep exceptional students from attending MIT Access to educational opportunity is still distributed very unevenly in our society That’s why MIT engages so many innovative outreach programs to draw young people toward the very best colleges, programs such as STEM, SEED, and MITES These extraordinary programs prepare young people with the skills they need for success here at MIT and at other great universities Our admissions office has intensified its efforts to recruit the most talented students from all backgrounds That work has borne fruit, with this year’s freshman class the most diverse in MIT’s history Our financial aid policies open our doors to as wide a range of students as possible As we have for many decades, we admit undergraduates without regard to their financial need, and we award all MIT scholarship aid on the basis of need alone These policies represent an institutional investment of more than $60 million this year And one of the key objectives of the campaign for students that we launched earlier in the winter is to fully endow undergraduate financial aid to ensure that their need never, never be a decision between funding financial aid and funding other important institutional activities At the graduate level, we continue to build Institute-wide recruiting efforts, such as the Converge Weekend for prospective students Our role as a leader in graduate education for diverse communities was recognized last fall when MIT became one of 10 universities chosen to offer the new Amgen scholarships, a nationwide initiative that provides opportunities for talented undergraduate students to engage in fully funded summer research experiences to encourage them to pursue graduate degrees and, eventually, careers in science and technology And MIT was chosen to host the program’s national office Taking away obstacles for the Institute’s own students and for other young people is a job for all of us gathered here today It is a serious but also a joyful obligation, eloquently expressed two years ago at this breakfast by our own student, Sarah Gonzalez, who’s now a senior At that event, Sarah encouraged us each to do our part This is what she said “I hope that everyone in this hall will reach out and embrace every opportunity to become a mentor, to become a role model, and to support programs that encourage students to accept the challenge and break through the remaining frontiers, professional and scholarly.” The truly remarkable accomplishments of our students and our graduates show us why we must hear and act on Sarah’s words Dr. King urges us to walk together And we have been walking steadily forward But now, it is time to pick up the pace

We owe that faster pace to our own community of teachers and students, researchers and staff We owe it to the many extended communities for whom we stand as a beacon of excellence and aspiration And we owe it to a world that looks to us to bring the very best thinking to bear on the world’s toughest problems While each of us must pick up Sarah Gonzalez’s charge, we must move ahead as a community As Dr. King said, we cannot walk alone And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead We cannot turn back Let us walk forward together Thank you [APPLAUSE] Now it gives me truly great pleasure to introduce this year’s keynote speaker, Ted Childs, Jr. Mr. Childs, now a world renowned consultant specializing in diversity issues, formerly served as the vice president for Global Workforce Diversity at IBM His success in that role at one of the world’s great technology companies won him praise as perhaps the most effective diversity executive on the planet– perhaps in the galaxy In his work at IBM, Mr. Childs stressed the critical role of diversity to the company’s business success As he used to say in speeches to new managers– and I love this– no matter who you are, you’re going to have to work with people who are different from you You’re going to have to sell to people who are different from you, and buy from people who are different from you, and manage people who are different from you His effective leadership in developing talent and strengthening recruiting and mentoring strategies generated enormous gains for women and minority executives at IBM and for the company itself During a social service leave from IBM, Mr. Childs served as executive assistant to Benjamin L. Hooks, the executive director of the NAACP And he’s currently a member of the board of directors of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund He has been deeply involved in child care and aging issues and also serves as a trustee of his alma mater, West Virginia State University Mr. Childs has been quoted as saying that he is intensely proud of the gains women and members of minority groups made in IBM’s executive ranks during his tenure there He has every right to be His remarks this morning promise to teach all of us how we can work together to make MIT a model of both diversity and excellence Please join me in extending MIT’s warmest welcome to Mr. Ted Childs [APPLAUSE] CHILDS: Thank you very much It is always a treat to be on any college campus in our country The joy comes from the traditions associated with college in America, pursuit of education, mental stimulation, development, spirited debate And when the times are issue conflicted, challenging the system, its leaders, and our nation’s core principles and values These are issue conflicted times And while we have the joy of being in an academic community, I am stressed over the absence nationally of student activism to address what I consider to be the key issues of our time, or to even get a consistent theme of messages that they care I know that this is the beginning of Black History Month It would be easy for me to take your theme of the convergence of diversity and excellence It would be easy to talk about Black History Month I hope when I’m done, you’ll feel that I did a bit of both I’m interested in this concept that I saw emerge this morning of family

I’m teaching a class down at Bennett College Some of you know Johnnetta Cole, the president of Bennett This is her last semester, and I agreed to teach a seminar there And each week, the students have gotten accustomed to me saying to them, you can’t make this stuff up I come in each week with two or three news stories of the last day or so that are relevant to what I’m talking about And this week, we had something happen that I thought was quite provocative Across town here, you had a new president installed And the New York Times did quite a provocative piece on her on Monday, and I read it and highlighted a couple of things Recalling her coming of age as the only girl in a privileged tradition bound family in Virginia, Virginia horse country specifically, Drew Gilpin Faust has often spoken of her continued confrontation with her mother about the requirements of which she usually called femininity Her mother Catherine, she has said, told her repeatedly, it’s a man’s world, sweetie, and the sooner you learn that, the better you will be She’s written, frankly, of the community of rigid racial segregation that she and her brothers grew up in and how it formed her as a rebellious daughter who would go on to march in the civil rights protests of the ’60s and to become an historian of the region Race was not much discussed in her family She wrote in an article printed in Harvard Magazine, “I live in a world where social arrangements were taken for granted and assumed to be timeless A child’s obligation was to learn these usages, not to question them The complexities of racial deportment were of a piece with learning manners and etiquette There were formalized ways of organizing almost every aspect of human relationships and interactions How you placed your fork and knife on the plate, when you had finished eating, what you did with the finger bowl, who walked through a door first, whose name was spoken first in an introduction, how others were dressed, black adults with just a first name, whites as Mr. or Mrs., whose hand you shook and whose you didn’t, who ate in the dining room and who ate in the kitchen.” I have heard stories about that That is the first time I have ever seen it in writing, and it’s quite riveting I was interested this morning because I had that news story on Monday, and yesterday, we had a new story because one of the more enlightened members of our athletic establishment, Mr. Timothy Hardaway, said in a radio interview about how much he hated gays, didn’t want to be on a team with one Now he’s a retired player from the NBA He was scheduled to participate in the all-star events this weekend And I was very proud that Commissioner David Stern stepped up to him immediately and said, you will not participate in any NBA-related activity Your views are not compatible with the views of the NBA [APPLAUSE] Commissioner Stern’s response was, in my view, compatible with the requirements of leadership today When I left IBM in August, I started my own business, Ted Childs, LLC, and I needed somebody to help me So I knew this young lady She had an undergraduate degree from Florida A&M in sociology She has a master’s degree in sociology from University of Texas She has a master’s degree in human resource management from Rutgers And I said to her, I paid for all those tuition bills Why don’t you come join me in this business? And I tell you that story I did not plan to talk about that, but I saw something this morning No one that I heard commented that very wonderful set of remarks that we heard from Elizabeth Clay She’s the daughter of Phillip Clay who was here You can grow your own talent We didn’t talk about–

well, hold on Hold on We didn’t talk about Austin and Michelle Harton They’ve got two daughters who are students at MIT seated over there My colleague, [? Aida ?] [? Saibot ?] from EMC is here [? Aida ?] is heads up diversity for EMC, but she’s an engineer by training, and her daughter graduated with a 3.8 in engineering from Penn State in December It seems that you can truly grow your own talent if you plant the seed and water that plant So I commend all of you for your parenting, and I join you in that [APPLAUSE] If you follow the thread of my comments, you will find me in the neighborhood of workforce diversity And if I don’t touch what you want me to talk about, if we have time, I’ll take it in Q&A My colleagues at the American Program Bureau that coordinate my speeches say that they’re wary about me because I write my own speeches, one for each audience They say, you know, you should have a stump speech And I tell them, subjects may be the same, but the issues and the times, they change Lyndon Johnson wrote that you will find meaning only by sharing in the responsibilities, the dangers, and the passions of your time In the ’60s, in my college classes, the class of ’67, we were engaged in issues For examples, lunch counter sit-ins in Greensboro, North Carolina In February of 1964, a young black man from North Carolina, A&T University, an historically black college, sat at a lunch counter at a Woolworths Department Store in Greensboro They were refused service that day They remained in their seats until closing time, and the sit-in movement was born The protests spread to 54 cities and nine states And over a two-month period, the economic impact was as pronounced as the social impact, so much so that on July 25, 1960, the first black person ate a meal sitting down at that same Woolworths And that lunch counter is now on display at the Smithsonian Later in the ’60s, Michael Schwerner, a Cornell graduate student, Cornell graduate, a social worker in Manhattan, James Chaney, a young black man from Mississippi, Andrew Goodman, a Queens College sophomore, all involved in a voting rights activity in Mississippi, two white and one black all killed in pursuit of their mission 1968, the Democratic Convention The events that occurred at the Democratic Convention in Chicago in 1968 brought about several changes in politics and society It was a defining moment for the youth in America that were protesting the war in Vietnam And young people saw that they could really make a difference in confronting the establishment The anti-war movement really came to have a new level of prominence at the Chicago convention And it could be argued that it laid the groundwork for troops to be withdrawn from Vietnam in April of 1975 And I was reminded when you talked about you’re a member of the Chicago Seven, there’s a Chicago Eight from that convention that had another impact But they would be proud of you West Virginia State College, a college that was a member of the historically black college and university network Until the 1954 Supreme Court decision, it was against the law for white students to attend that college I arrived on that campus in September of 1963 I arrived on a campus that was 80% white The dormitories were 90% black In the minds of black America, West Virginia State was still a black college In the minds of white West Virginians, here was a school where they could get a good education, go to school in the day time, and go home at night 1966 was our senior year and the 75th anniversary of the college Student body president, a white student named Steve Bragg, was one of the few white students who lived in the dorms, and we had, over time, become friends Steve asked me to be the social committee chair for our senior year, the major event being homecoming I agreed to accept the role if he agreed that our primary goal at homecoming would be to integrate our campus From 1954 to 1965, there had never been more than six white couples come to homecoming, to the dance That year, we hired a very popular white band, The Esquires, and a popular black band, Martha and the Vandellas

[APPLAUSE] The black students had fun, and they were joined by 600 of their white colleagues We had a moment of integration We stood up to the patterns of our time and said we are one student body and would be consistent with the motto of our college, a living laboratory of human relations Managing that event became a pivotal event in determining the professional course my life would take Examples of student activism, challenging, standing up, fighting for principles and values that we believed were right and consistent with the founding principles of our nation The ’60s were also the time of corporate awakening in the United States We’re coming off a 30-year period of visible examples of challenge, social questioning, sometimes violent behavior and change Nazi Germany and the Holocaust gave us real insight into the depth of bigotry and hatred The attack on Pearl Harbor shook our nation to its core, but also sparked a reaction that we would later regret– the internment of our Japanese citizens The world saw the debate about the war lead to the founding of the United Nations in the hope that it would be a forum to avoid conflict, a place where we could talk, not before shooting, but in place of shooting In the United States 60 years ago, April 15, 1947, Jackie Robinson integrated our nation’s pastime, baseball And later, on July 26, 1948, President Harry Truman issued Executive Order 9981, abolishing segregation in the armed forces and ordering full integration of all the services While World War II had concluded, the Korean War shortly followed And black and white soldiers actually got to fight and die together Now, I’m going to sprinkle my remarks with some sidebar stories Tabitha, when you talked about Dr. King having two segments to his civil right activity, I penciled some notes here Because a friend of mine, Dr. Larry Spruill, did his doctoral dissertation on the civil rights movement and the media And when I talked to Larry about it and read his dissertation, I learned something that I did not know, and that was that the media played an important role in the civil rights movement, but Dr. King was a strategist The march to Pettus Bridge and what happened surrounding that was orchestrated by him He said, in a strategy meeting, we will continue to be beaten, but not in the dark of night, but only in the full light of day And he planned that march so that the media could tell the story, because he picked that place because he knew that they could provoke Bull Connor to attack them and that America would see what they were subjected I got to read what happened when they talked to the newspaper and magazine reporters and saw one of the magazine reporters talked about the people there, the police They knew who they were They did not want them showing up with their cameras, and how the photographers trained themselves to hide their cameras under their coats strapped to their bodies so that they could bring the coat up, flash the camera at the scene, snap, put their coat down again, so that the police wouldn’t know that they were there And those were the pictures that America saw that helped America understand Now, three weeks ago, I had one of those personal experiences that kind of live with you I was on a plane headed to Austin, Texas And the flight attendant came by to take our meal orders And she addressed the man seated next to me as Mr. Greenberg And I didn’t pay any attention to it, but then we were still at the gate, and he took a cell phone call And that prompted me, when I heard his conversation, to ask him a question I said, look, I heard the flight attendant address you, and I couldn’t help overhearing your conversation Your name is Greenberg Are you any relation to Hank Greenberg, the man who played baseball? And he said, yes, I’m his son

And I said, 58 home runs, 1938 And he said, 1937 Now, I have a hallway in my home named Jackie Robinson Parkway And I have a street sign that I got that I bought at an auction, that it hangs at the top of that hallway I grew up in Massachusetts I was born and raised in Springfield My dad loved baseball and in another time, might have been able to play professionally He would not bring me to Fenway Park because the Red Sox were the last team to have black players– Pumpsie Green in 1959 But he took me to Ebbets Field I saw Jackie play, and Roy Campanella and Don Newcombe They were my heroes But for three hours, Stephen Greenberg and I had a riveting discussion And he sent me some artifacts about his dad He is sending me pictures that are going to hang on Jackie Robinson Parkway with some pictures of Jackie But when we think about what we celebrate, years later, Elden Auker, the Detroit pitcher, recalled during the game, somebody from the White Sox dugout yelled out that Hank was a yellow Jew son of a bitch When the ball game was over, Hank took off his spikes, and he walked across the way and opened the door He walked right into the White Sox clubhouse, which was just across the aisle from our clubhouse, and said, the guy that called me a yellow son of a bitch, get on his feet and come out here and call it to my face Not a guy moved He was damn lucky because Hank would have killed him Hank was a tough guy Birdie Tebbetts, a young reserve catcher on the Tigers and a Detroit teammate of Hank’s for seven seasons, also remembered that incident Hank walked into the White Sox locker room and said, I don’t know who called me a yellow Jew bastard, but whoever it was, stand up and say it to my face Tebbetts recalled years later, there was nobody in the history of the game who took more abuse than Greenberg unless it was Jackie I was there with Hank when it was happening, and I heard it However, Hank was not only equal to it, he was superior to most of the people who were yelling at him And in the case of Jackie, Jackie had no place to go after a ball game, and Greenberg could go anyplace in the world Greenberg had to bear the terrible burden on the field Jackie had to bear it all of his life I wasn’t in the National League with Jackie, but I was with Hank, and Hank consistently took more abuse In those days, there was an awful lot of what we called jockeying There’s no room for it now because the organists have taken over It was between innings We got our feelings across to everybody– umpires, hitters, pitchers It was a continuous thing There were bench jockeys who would get on the edge of the bench and yell obscenities, or jokes, or something about a guy’s personal life And you’d hear it out in the stands To Greenberg, you’d hear, Jew bastard or kike son of a bitch Nobody else could have withstood the foul invectives that were directed toward Greenberg, and he had to eat them Or else, he would be out of a game Tebbetts recalled another time when the Yankees were writing Greenberg from the bench during a game Hank walked over to the Yankee bench, said Tebbetts, and challenged the entire team Nobody said a word Ben Chapman, who played on several teams, was considered one of the toughest bench jockeys in baseball And he was tough on Greenberg He was also rough on Jackie, after Jackie broke into the National League Chapman was then the manager of the Phillies It was Chapman who was supposed to have thrown a black cat on the field to try to shame Robinson And Robinson’s most difficult moment, he would say later, was when he swallowed his pride in his rookie year and buried the hatchet with Chapman and posed for a photograph A short column in the New York Times on May 18 where the headline, “Hank Greenberg a Hero to Dodgers Negro Star.” The story read, “Jackie Robinson, the first Negro player, has picked the diamond hero, the rival first baseman Hank Greenberg of the Pittsburgh Pirates Here’s why Robinson and Greenberg collided in a play at first base

during the current Dodger-Pirates series The next time Jackie came down to the set, Hank said, I forgot to ask you if you were hurt on that play Assured that Robinson was unharmed, Greenberg said, Jackie, stick in there You’re doing fine Keep your chin up This encouragement from an established star heartened Robinson who has been the subject of racial treatment Jackie came into Pittsburgh on a Friday afternoon, and the place was jammed We were in last place, and the Dodgers were in first place Our southern ball players, a bunch of bench jockeys, kept yelling to Jackie, hey, coal mine Hey, coal mine Hey, you black coal mine We’re going to get you You ain’t going to play no baseball here Jackie paid them no mind He got on base and started dancing It was beautiful to watch I couldn’t help but admire him Anyway, we were in last place and these guys were calling a guy on a first place team names The last thing that stuck out was later on, Hank Greenberg became the general manager of the Cleveland Indians And he traveled with the players on their last field trip We were leading the league, and it looked like we were going to win the pennant From Washington, we went to Baltimore by bus When we arrived at the Baltimore hotel, all the players rushed to get off the bus I waited until all the players had left the bus, and then I found myself standing there with five players They were not going to the hotel because they were black It hadn’t occurred to me that these players would not be admitted to the hotel I asked them, what do you guys do? They said, we wait for the taxi The taxis take us to different homes, and we stay with families And I thought to myself, this is terrible Here, these fellows are a vital part of the team, contributing to our success, and they have to be segregated and they’re not permitted to stay in the hotel And I said to Spud Goldstein, our traveling secretary, this is not going on any longer For next season, I want to write a letter to every hotel before the season opens and tell them that we will not send our team there unless everyone on the team is accepted and treated as a guest with the same equal rights I found that blacks were not permitted in the hotels in St. Louis, Baltimore, and Washington So the next year, we wrote to all the hotels and explained that if they wanted the Cleveland Indians’ business, they would take all of our players or none of them Now, all of the hotels said, bring your players.” Now, to me, one of the riveting things about my business is I have a saying that I have trademarked I don’t care who you hate, you don’t hate them more than you love money On September 21, 1953, Tom Watson, Jr, then the chief executive at IBM, wrote what we think was America’s first equal opportunity policy letter Now I retired from IBM last August after 39 years, but I worked for a new– every CEO, except Tom, Sr, his dad And I interviewed Tom, Jr, in the early ’90s And I asked him, why did you write that letter? And I posed the question by saying that you could not have been under any social or political pressure to write a letter And Tom, Jr. told me that he was motivated to do so because he was negotiating with the governors of Kentucky and North Carolina to build the IBM plants in Lexington and Raleigh, two major sites potentially for IBM But he told both governors that he would not accept separate but equal at IBM And both governors said, bring the payroll and manage the people any way you want to Now, that’s an early example of not show me the money, but bring me the money Tax and payroll dollars Once again, I don’t care who you hate You don’t hate them more than you love money And on May 17, 1954, the Supreme Court decision, the Brown decision, declaring that separate but equal was inconsistent with the principles of our nation And in 1957, we got the Civil Rights Act of 1957, Congress’s first civil rights legislation since reconstruction, which established the US Department of Justice as the guarantor of the right

to vote The act was a presidential response to the political divisions that followed the Brown decision Now I want another sidebar story I want to talk about the Brown decision There were some players in this decision– presidential candidate Dwight Eisenhower, California Attorney General, later to be governor, Earl Warren, the Brown case itself, the Supreme Court Chief Justice Fred Vinson And some of you know Professor Charles Ogletree at Harvard, and he describes this story very poignantly in his book, All Deliberate Speed Dwight Eisenhower was a candidate for President of the United States Earl Warren was the governor of California Dwight Eisenhower concluded that he needed the delegation from California to win the nomination And he told then Governor Warren that if you will deliver the votes of California for me, I will give you the first appointment to the Supreme Court of the United States The Brown case was moving through the court system Conservatives in America were not worried about the Brown case They knew where it was headed, to the Supreme Court, but their people were in charge Fred Vinson was the Chief Justice Fred Vinson died As you have watched the process of filling Supreme Court seats, those who worry about such things had their short lists They also had a problem Dwight David Eisenhower had made a deal with Earl Warren, and he chose to honor the deal What he did in appointing Earl Warren governor of California was he appointed Earl Warren governor of California, previously attorney general for California who orchestrated the internment of the Japanese and had concluded that was a bad decision And he led the Supreme Court to the Brown decision that we now know happened on May 17, 1954 The results of the various actions that I’ve described would lay the foundation of the social corporate and political behavior in the ’60s and beyond In 1962, President John Kennedy initiated Plans for Progress, a program providing US companies with the opportunity to sign the document indicating their intent to hire minority citizens Active affirmative action programs were launched with college recruitment directed at black colleges My hiring by IBM in 1967 was a result of such an initiative Another sidebar story– yesterday, I’m standing at LaGuardia Yesterday was pure hell at LaGuardia, the result of the day before I find myself standing next to a fellow, and I said, are you who I think you are? He just looks at me, and he smiles, and he said, I think so Bobby Kennedy, Jr. I said, young fella, where do you live? Don’t we live near each other? He said, I live in Mount Kisco I said I live in Pound Ridge The towns are right next to each other I said, look, I’m a native of Springfield 1960, I was a freshman in high school My United States senator was running for president He came to town to let us out of school When I watched the interview on 60 Minutes on Sunday, I told my friends that man reminds me of Jack The interview was with Barack And he and I had a few moments about his uncle Companion to the hiring initiatives, corporations launched minority supplier programs that were equally important because they pledged their support to buy from companies owned by women or minorities So the bigotry and intolerance of the ’40s sparked attitudinal change in the ’50s, and that led to social, political, and corporate activism in the ’60s A lot of water has passed over the dam since then 50 years since the Brown decision, where are we? Well, we can claim and demonstrate progress, but we cannot hide the fact that we are in a crisis, what I call a seminal moment For me, a seminal moment is when we encounter a crisis, a crisis that requires the social and political will to use all of our resources to combat a real or perceived threat Pearl Harbor was a seminal moment Sputnik was a seminal moment The gasoline crisis of the ’70s was a seminal moment, for the moment

We suffered We sucked it up We sat in lines at gasoline pumps Some of us got up at 4:00 AM in the morning to drive to gas stations to get in line We sacrificed, we walked We took buses, we carpooled We had discussions at the highest levels of our government about the need to wean ourselves off of our oil dependence We stopped buying big cars And for a moment in time, we had a love affair with small cars, gas conscious cars Then the gas started flowing, and the crisis ended I think 9/11 was a seminal moment At least, it made us angry Our seminal moment today is, I believe, the need to develop and execute a competitive national talent strategy Our schools are not producing students who can read, write, count, and think A key founding principle of the democracy was that a public school education would provide an educated citizenry that could understand and debate issues, draw conclusions, go into a voting booth, and elect our leaders Not only are we not educated, we don’t vote If you go to tomorrowsworkforce.org, this website describes where American high school students rank versus their peers in other countries And it ain’t pretty Of the 21 countries participating in the third International Mathematics and Science Study, American high school seniors outperformed only students from Cyprus and South Africa It ranked behind students in Sweden, Canada, New Zealand, Russia, and the Czech Republic A recent study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development showed that America’s literacy rate is average among the nations of the industrialized world and that our high school graduation rate, 73%, is one of the lowest in the industrial nations We follow Denmark, Norway, Germany, Japan, Poland, Switzerland, Finland, Greece, Japan, Australia, Canada, Belgium, Switzerland, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Sweden, and Ireland It’s rather intimidating That is why this is a seminal moment, because the failure of our educational system is undermining our competitiveness in a global marketplace I travel all over the world, and I’m amazed that I can talk to children I speak one language, and I meet kids who speak their language and English They tell a joke in other countries You speak three languages, you’re trilingual If you speak two languages, you’re bilingual If you speak one language, you’re American A recent issue about the national anthem being sung in Spanish, president of the United States and the Vice President commented that the US national anthem should only be sung in English And I was kind of overwhelmed by that I can’t imagine anyone singing my national anthem in their language and flying planes into our buildings I’d like to see a lot of people singing the national anthem in their countries We’re having a national debate about English being the national language I think that’s a flawed debate I think English is going to be the dominant language in the United States And if we conclude there is a risk, we can attack that where the problem emerges But I think we need to have a national dialogue about requiring American children to speak more than one language and to do so fluently before they can graduate from high school The Chinese government has made a commitment to Chinese children to learn to speak English That is a strong message I was in a meeting one day recently, just a group of us talking about world affairs And I posed a thought I said, I wonder if the Chinese government does not want Bin Laden as much as we do I wonder if they got him, if the conversation wouldn’t go like this Chinese leader– Mr. Bin Laden, you are destroying private property when you fly those planes into buildings in the United States, especially New York Bin Laden– what do you mean private property? They are the Americans They are devils Chinese leader– Mr. Bin Laden, you must have missed a meeting You are not with the strategy The Americans, they are not our enemies They are our business partners We are investing in their country We may even own those buildings one day And we are not in a hurry One day will come Mr. bin Laden, no more planes

You are destroying our long-term investment Hold the thought When we look back over history, the most advanced civilizations were the ones that had the highest degree of technology however technology was defined in their time We have been viewed as the most advanced civilization of our time But change is coming A key defining example of the technological prowess of your civilization is the number of engineers you produce I have not forgotten where I am– America’s premier institution of higher learning in the field of math and science Well, America produces 75,000 engineers a year, but Russia produces 85,000, Japan, 105,000, India, 130,000, and China, well over 200,000 Well, if they can produce more engineers and they can speak their language and English, who is preparing to compete for being the most advanced civilization? Whose children will be the most competitive in a global marketplace? Not ours If you look at the Fortune 25 in 1955, you see names like US Steel, Bethlehem Steel, Gulf Oil, Swift, International Harvester, Union Carbide, RCA, Firestone Tire and Rubber, companies that were there in 1955 and either don’t exist today, have been bought, or are just far down the list Just like they had no long-term guarantee of remaining on top, America has no such guarantee either We are concerned about job flight Those are not our jobs They are not American jobs We do not have an entitlement to them How many people in this room own stock in a global company? Well, we’re conflicted We want jobs here and we want to make money Indeed, we expect and demand to make money We can’t have it both ways Those countries are making more of an investment in their schools than we are 40 or 50 years ago, when an IBM was looking for a community to build a plant, we had a handful of criteria No labor conflict, quality transportation, quality housing, good schools, and a good university system You can find that today in many places Last week, in a New York Times and Wall Street Journal article, Mr. Bernanke, at the Federal Reserve, talked about disparities in education and training as the single greatest source of the long-term increase in inequality If the head of one of our global companies is visiting a country today and meeting with the president of that country, the business leader is likely to be asked, what are you doing for my country? In the past, the company’s CEO would have said, well, I’m paying this much in taxes in your country I’m making this much in charitable contributions Today, that answer will not be acceptable The country president will say, I know how much money your company is making And I know how much you made in my country The only answer I’m interested in is how many jobs you are putting in my country The country president would be on point in focusing on the source of the conflict with the shareholder Global companies require a network of successful local economies A global company cannot be successful by being successful only in the United States You can have a great year here and a bad year in enough other places to have a bad business year Global financial success means multiple success Tom Watson, Sr joined IBM in 1914 It was CTR Company at the time He became the president in 1915 In 1923, he established a subsidiary, World Trade Corporation, then changed the name to IBM in 1924 He had a vision that it would be a global business IBM made its first billion dollars outside of the US in 1965 1975 was the first year more than half the company’s revenue came from outside of the United States– 1975 I point that out to you because three major competitors of IBM– Apple, Microsoft, and Dell– didn’t exist in 1975 And then in 1993, that was the first year that more than half of IBM’s people were outside of the United States Now let me come back to the Chinese leader and the Bin Laden discussion If those nations where we see the greatest economic growth– China, India, Brazil, Russia, former Eastern Bloc– are competing with us for opportunity,

well, if they’re making a more focused investment in their country, particularly education, and investing in the United States, what picture do we see? When I said hold the thought, I meant do we see a seminal moment? I don’t mean Pearl Harbor or 9/11 I don’t mean Sputnik, where we will have airway drills and schoolchildren that will practice what to do if there’s an attack The essence of my imaginary Chinese leader Bin Laden discussion is that someone wins, but no bullets are fired I did not mean to offend by using the Chinese leader in the discussion He was just an effective tool for my debate I said earlier that I’m stressed over the absence of student activism I’m concerned about what’s on their minds Here are four recent incidents Here in Massachusetts, last fall at Babson, some students dressed up as Celtics and in blackface Two weeks ago at Guilford College in North Carolina, I was there to speak at Bennett Newspaper Story It has been reported that on the morning of January 20, three students, two from Guilford College, one visiting from North Carolina State, all from the West Bank, were attacked by Guilford College football players in what is being labeled a hate crime This was a crime that occurred on a Greensboro, North Carolina campus, a Quaker college Greensboro, the home of the lunch counter sit-ins that changed the nation Now, we ask the question– how did such an act of violence occur in an environment that so adamantly opposes violence? We have two white students and one black student allegedly beating on these students and calling them sand niggers and terrorists So we go back to the argument of why do they hate us? Texas, students at Tarleton State University in Texas held a Martin Luther King, Jr. Day party that ridiculed black culture by having students play upon the worst stereotypes, such as students wearing gang apparel, dressing up as Aunt Jemima, drinking malt liquor, and eating fried chicken Education officials at the school found out about the party by looking at pictures of the party that were displayed on the social networking site Facebook.com University president Dennis McCabe said the photographs were reprehensible Princeton University Princeton is a renowned institution of higher learning And recently, the student newspaper at Princeton, [? Velvet ?] Chan, a senior at Princeton University, was stunned when she encountered an article in broken English in the annual joke issue of The Student Daily parodying an Asian-American student who had filed a civil rights complaint against Student The editor in chief said their attention was to spark dialogue on race The article read, “Hi, Princeton Remember me? The parody began “I so good at math and science, perfect 2,400 SAT score Ring bells? Just in cases, let me refresh your memories I the super smart Asian Princeton, the super dumb college, not accept me What is wrong with you no colored people? Yellow people make the world go round We cook greasy food, wash your clothes, let you copy our homework.” The Princetonian’s editor in chief, who is of Indian descent, said the staff was trying to put the article behind them “We embraced racist language in order to strangle it,” she said “At its worst, the column was a bad joke At its best, it provokes serious thought.” Well, she’s right about that part Where is our student attention to global warming, the war in Iraq? I figured that one out, by the way My generation was concerned about Vietnam because of the draft Where are the students’ concern about immigration, the quality of our air and water, continuing civil rights debates, stem cell research, the lack of health care for all Americans, the increasing competitive job advantage of other nations? And I believe most importantly, the failure of our schools By the way, I don’t mean to criticize them for not aggressively taking on the war

I do think that the fact that our generation dealt with the draft was important Now unless you think I’m just concerned about our students, I’m just as concerned about business leaders I entered high school with some very strong views I thought that because of Jackie Robinson integrating baseball, Harry Truman’s executive order integrating the military, and the Brown decision declaring separate but equal unacceptable, that a generation of boys that went to school together, played ball together, and died together would change America I was wrong But now the debates are far bigger, and for very real reasons, bigger than black and white Those conflicts still exist But the inclusion of our Hispanic, Asian, and Native American, disabled, the gay lesbian debate, career equity for women, all of that is important And the issue of age may turn out to be the premiere business-related issue of our generation Regarding race, we have to have a meaningful discussion about affirmative action I believe we have to adopt the concept of mend it, don’t end it But my version of mend it, don’t end it is very simple We have to end the focus on affirmative action as a race and gender dialogue Affirmative action has to be about disadvantage, and people who are white and poor have to be able to benefit from our commitment to affirmative action Because we need everybody on the playing field For me to say to someone white, somewhere in your history, somebody owned slaves, it doesn’t matter anymore We have sportswriters who would like to tell us that America’s team is located in Dallas or that American sport is baseball Well, America’s team is its workforce In America, sport is innovation Those workers and that innovation are in a global marketplace And that is what we bring to the economic table– our workforce We have to help all of our people be prepared to compete We can’t win in our local neighborhoods or individual constituency groups We can only win as Americans So back to my seminal moment, the college students need to see clearly the responsibilities, the dangers, and the passions of their time They need to see them and agitate for healthy spirited debate I think what these two young ladies did this morning is consistent with that They need to galvanize around real issues that are important to their generation, as racial segregation and the war in Vietnam were to ours They need to spark debate and grab us by the neck A couple of years ago, we had a major case come before the US Supreme Court, the Michigan case It generated more print of the court briefs than any Supreme Court case in history IBM participated in that case, and I was proud to help write the brief IBM’s involvement came about because Dr. John Slaughter, then a member of the board, former president of Occidental College, now the head of National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering, and Chuck Vest, a member of the IBM board, then the president of MIT, both pushed IBM, and Dupont, and Stanford, and MIT, and the National Academy of Engineering to focus on it And what we did was say, look, we’re not going to take a position on the mathematical process that’s being used by the university But we do want to make a couple of points First, we argued that if the universities of the United States don’t produce a diverse set of graduates, they’re contributing to the competitive disadvantage of the United States business community And second, we wanted to redefine the concept of customer We made the case that the parents who pay the tuition– no disrespect to the parents who are paying tuition– but that the parents who pay the tuition are not the customers at a college The customers are the employers who buy the finished product, who produce the jobs Education has always been our strength, a differentiator in the global marketplace We’re only going to win through education We need national standards and performance expectations We cannot tolerate schools in our largest cities or population centers that are underfunded and underperforming We cannot accept states like Alabama and Mississippi consistently being at the bottom of the educational performance letter All of our children are important in a global economic war They are our troops, and we need to develop them So I lobby you for a renewed commitment to defining and attacking the responsibilities the dangerous and the passions of our time The young have to be appropriately distrustful, unhappy, and challenging of the decisions and execution of those decisions by their elders Those elders have got to see far more clearly than we are doing today We have to make decisions that are in the best interests of our nation, not our company or our community We have to think about our country long-term, not

three to five years We have to see the demographic changes that are underway in the United States Our nation today has 90 million people of color That is larger than individual populations of Argentina, Australia, Canada, France, England, Spain, Italy, Germany, South Korea, South Africa, and Vietnam Our Hispanic population, the largest minority group By 2050, America will be 50% white, 25% Hispanic, and 25% everybody else Our elected officials in the marketplace reflect that change It is important that Nancy Pelosi is now the Speaker of the House That’s worth noting But the news about her elevation has overshadowed some other elevations, which I think are very important Charlie Rangel is now the chairman of Ways and Means; John Conyers, chair of the Judiciary Committee; Bennie Thompson, the chair of Homeland Security; Juanita McDonald, the chair of House Administration They’re all black Silvestre Reyes, the chair of Intelligence, Nydia Velázquez, the chair of Small Business– they’re Hispanic Louise Slaughter, a white woman, chair of Rules, and the most conservative industry in the world, the banking community, now has to deal with a gay white man, graduate of Harvard, from Boston And I know that the bank– because I deal with these banking CEOs I know that this is their worst nightmare The Asian, black, Hispanic, and women’s caucuses are gaining in strength They’ve developed their agendas, and they’re focusing on connections We have reached the point where the interests of the minorities and women in the nation are not separate from those of business Our destinies are intertwined I have met privately with the CEOs of General Motors, Daimler Chrysler, Hallmark Card, Sylvania, Pepsi, the Royal Bank of Canada, JP Morgan Chase, Merck, Wyeth Lockheed Martin, American Express, Campbell’s Soup, Herman Miller, Sodexo, Eli Lilly, the Southern Company, UBS, and a group of CEOs in Tokyo All of the discussions were about their customers And they increasingly understand and want to execute within the framework of what I tell them are two and the only two meaningful goals of a diversity strategy How do you identify, attract, and retain the best people, and how do you create a workplace where they can perform to your maximum benefit? The investments that we must make and the strategies that we must develop will not yield overnight fixes We need to understand that excepts the absence of overnight fixes But we must sit down together Black, white, brown, red, or yellow, young or old, gay or straight, male or female, able-bodied or physically challenged, we are all in this together when we win together or lose as a nation together The responsibilities, the dangers, and the passions of our time belong to all of us, and all of us must solve them Thank you very much [APPLAUSE] PEARCE: Please join me again in thanking Mr. Ted Childs [APPLAUSE] Certainly your words were quite timely in helping us to recognize the seminal moment that we’ve now found ourselves in Now at this time, I would like to welcome Provost Rafael Reif who will recognize the 2006, 2007 Martin Luther King, Jr. visiting professors and scholars The MLK visiting professors and scholars programs are administered through the provost’s office Professor Reif [APPLAUSE] REIF: Mr. Childs, thank you indeed for a very inspiring speech And Tabitha, I would like to say here publicly that I identify strongly with your background and experience, and I found your speech very moving I am honored here today to recognize our MLK visiting professors and scholars This program was established to recognize the contributions of outstanding scholars Since the first appointments in 1995, we have had close to 40 visiting scholars among us This year, as President Hockfield said earlier,

we have eight outstanding MLK visiting scholars, enriching our MIT community with their presence And I would like to introduce them and say a few words about each of them The first one is Professor William M. Harris, Sr. Department of Urban Studies and Planning He was here this morning actually sharing the table with me He had to leave a few minutes ago He’s a professor of Urban and Regional Planning at Jackson State University He holds memberships in several organizations, including the Urban Affairs Association and the American Planning Association Professor Harris has received numerous awards and recognitions, including more than 1,000 outstanding community service awards And most of his sponsored research has been directly related to African-American low income populations Next, I would like to introduce Professor Dale Joachim Dale, would you please stand up? [APPLAUSE] Before breakfast, I asked Dale to help me practice pronounce his last name I know I’m doing a terrible job at it, Dale, but I’m doing the best I can Dale’s here in the Media, Arts, and Sciences Program He’s a member of the faculty of Tulane University, where he instituted this Speech and Sound Laboratory for research on audio signature detection, identification, and localization He has taught computer architecture, digital logic, and speech processing courses at Tulane Before joining Tulane, he worked for Sanders Lockheed Martin in senior data systems The next one is Professor Ainissa Ramirez I didn’t see her this morning Is she here with us? Ainissa was here until recently in the Department of Material Science and Engineering She is a professor of mechanical engineering at Yale University In 2003, Technology Review named her as one of the world’s top 100 young innovators, what we refer to as TR100, for her discovery of a universal solder that can bond metals to ceramics class diamonds and oxide materials She is a strong advocate of improving the public’s understanding of science She lectures widely, and she has been also a science correspondent for Time Magazine Next I would like to introduce Professor Akalu Tefera Please stand up [APPLAUSE] Professor Tefera is with us in the Math department He is a professor of math at Grand Valley State University in Michigan He enjoys teaching math at many levels and has taught courses in calculus, linear algebra, discrete math, differential equations, and advanced calculus In addition to undergraduate teaching and curriculum development, Professor Tefera has mentored undergraduate students in cutting-edge research Next, I would like to introduce Dr. Dwight L. Williams [APPLAUSE] Dwight is in the Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering He is presently the principal nuclear physicist of the Science and Technology Brain Trust in the US Department of Defense, where he serves as the principal advisor on all nuclear matters He has numerous distinctions, including a National Young Engineer of the Year Award, and most recently, he was named a director of National Intelligence Fellow, the highest intelligence community award available to scientists Dr. Williams is the first African-American ever to win this award Next I would like to introduce Frank Espinosa His name is really Francisco Espinosa, but we Americanize it here I think I didn’t see him this morning Is Frank here? He’s with the Media, Arts, and Science, and Writing Program He’s presently the creator, designer, and writer of Rocketo, A comic book series published by Image Comics Rocketo follows the life and adventures of Rocketo Garrison, a world famous explorer and mapmaker Frank has worked extensively for Disney and Warner Brothers In 1992, he redesigned the complete Looney Tunes characters He has fashioned a series of Looney Tunes US postage stamps and has produced an award-winning character design manual for graphic problem-solving strategies Next, I would like to introduce Eugene Gus Newport Mr. Newport? [APPLAUSE] Gus is with us at the Urban Studies and Planning

Department He is presently a senior associate of the Urban Strategies Council, program director of the Vanguard Public Foundation, and consultant to the Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation He has worked in several capacities for federal, state, county, and municipal governance, nonprofit agencies in the private sector I knew his name back in the late ’70s At the time, I was a grad student at Stanford And Mr. Newport served as the mayor of the city of Berkeley during that period, ’79 to ’86 He also served as vice president from the US of the World Peace Council from ’82 to 1990 Finally, I would like to introduce Wilton Virgo, who I didn’t see him this morning Is Wilton here? He’s in our chemistry department Dr. Virgo is presently a postdoc working in Professor Robert Fields’ laboratory He received his PhD at Arizona State and his undergrad degree in chemistry at Princeton He has worked at Brookhaven National Lab and has been the occasional consultant for the American Tutoring Service His research is in higher resolution spectroscopy of transition metal containing molecules I would like to thank all our visiting professors and scholars for sharing their knowledge and enriching our community Thank you very much [APPLAUSE] PEARCE: Thank you very much, Provost Reif We will now continue with some announcements relevant to our celebration Those of you on campus last week may have had the pleasure of seeing the beautiful and informative installation located in Lobby 10, which was designed and constructed by the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. IEP seminar The theme of the installation was have we lived up to the dream? That’s a really good question Hopefully, each of us can respond by knowing in our hearts that we are striving to do just that The installation, which is described in the insert in your program this morning, included a walkway that visualized Dr. King’s dream and what still needs to be done In addition to the installation, the students in the class are working on several other projects involving children in the community, a voter registration drive, T-shirts, and a work on both the MIT@Lawrence Project and a project with CASPAR, which stands for Cambridge and Somerville Program for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Rehabilitation, both continuing into the spring semester Again, your insert includes a description of all the projects In addition, this morning you may have picked up a flyer announcing an event, Architecture Race Academe, the Black Architects Journey Conference, which will be held March 16 and 17 here at MIT Sponsored by the Department of Architecture, this program is free and open to the public Now please welcome back Mr [? Hiram ?] [? Etienne ?] to lead us in singing the black national anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing” by James Weldon Johnson We’d ask that you please stand and join us in the song The lyrics are located on the back of your program [MUSIC – “LIFT EVERY VOICE AND SING”] Help me out (SINGING) Lift every voice and sing till earth and heaven ring Ring with the harmonies of liberty Let our rejoicing rise high as the list’ning skies, let it resound loud as the rolling sea Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us Facing the rising sun of our new day begun, let us march on till victory is won Stony the road we trod, bitter the chast’ning rod,

felt in the days when hope unborn had died Yet with a steady beat, have not our weary feet come to the place for which our fathers sighed? Oh, we have come over a way that with tears has been watered We have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered, out of the gloomy past, till now we stand at last where the white gleam of our bright star is cast God of our weary years, God of our silent tears, thou who has brought us thus far on the way, thou who has by thy might led us into the light keep us forever in the path, we pray Lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met thee, lest our hearts, drunk with the wine of the world, we forget thee, shadowed beneath thy hand, may we forever stand true to our God, true to our native land [APPLAUSE] Thank you PEARCE: Thank you so much for that heartwarming rendition of “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” Now I would like to ask Reverend John [? Wusnick ?] of the MIT board of chaplains to come forward to offer the benediction and close this morning’s program Let us pray Bless to us, oh God, the song lifted from our lips Relieve from us, oh God, the malady of our racism And bless to us, oh God, the challenge of diversity and the challenge of excellence, the possibilities of congruence And lift from us, oh God, injustice anywhere Bind us, oh God, to the vision we have for our friends, to the vision we have for our colleagues Bind us, oh God, to the dreams we wish for our children and our children’s children Amen AUDIENCE: Amen PEARCE: I certainly hope you’ve enjoyed this morning’s program It is my sincere desire that you’ve been inspired to not only remember the words and work of Dr. King and his wife, Coretta Scott King, but also to act upon them Please remember also to drop by the Black Students Union Lounge, which is right outside these doors, after the program Thank you once again for joining us this morning, and we would be delighted to see you next year for the program and the celebration that we will have on February 8, 2008 I leave you with these words by William George Jordan Into the hands of every individual is given a marvelous power for good or evil– the silent unconscious unseen influence of his life

I urge you today to resolve to use your power for good Have an outstanding and blessed day [APPLAUSE]