What Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Means to Babson Students

The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C.

In celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we asked Babson College students to reflect on his amazing life and how they honor his legacy in their lives.

Here is what they had to say:

Stand Up

“To me, Dr. King’s legacy has always meant that I should stand up for what I believe in, and, for as long as I can remember, I have done just that. During my early childhood, I attended predominantly Black schools that instilled the importance of following my dreams, and where I repeated daily mantras telling myself that, ‘I am somebody. I believe in me.’

“But, once I got to high school, that all changed. I was now a minority. No one looked like me. I found myself fighting for a seat at the table. The mantras that I repeated daily were no longer just words. They became something of significance that kept me going.

“I always wanted to be in the room where change happens, even if I don’t see it in my lifetime. The BLM protest on campus was not my first organized protest, and I believe it will not be my last. Dr. King dreamed of change, and I dream of the same change, too.”

Nicollette Phillips ’23, Posse Scholar, director of logistics for the Black Student Union, community manager for Origins of Necessary Equality

Empathy and Humility

“I have been working for the past two years to provide eco-friendly period products and menstrual education to incarcerated women in Rio de Janeiro. By doing that, I have realized that acknowledging the humanity and worth in all human beings is a key quality for a leader. In other words, empathy and humility allow me to connect with communities different than mine. The foundation of my work is the belief from Dr. King, that to be committed to fighting injustice, one must be willing to learn from people different than oneself.”

Giullia Jaques Caldeira ’24, Global Scholar, founder of Absorvidas

It Is About Courage

“When you think of Dr. King’s legacy, what do you think of? Change? Hope? Dreams? I believe this all to be true, but it is more than that. To me, it is about courage. It is about the courage it takes to be the spokesperson, a voice for when you see something wrong going on in the world. Dr. King happened to do this on a massive, societal scale, but I think it is about taking that initial step. In the coming decades, this is the courage that we, as a people, will need to be able to bring about a better world for the following generations of humanity. That is what I believe in and what I aim to do.”

Mezue Eneh ’21, community manager of The Johnson House


SAVE THE DATE: Babson College’s Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Day on February 17.


Greater than Myself

“Dr. King was a visionary, and though he never lived to experience the manifestation of his dream, he knew that the work toward the vision would be worth it even if he were never to see it. In all that I do for the Black community, I understand that my work is greater than myself and more than a moment. It is centered around people and legacy, which is reflected in my leadership with The Johnson House, a community space for students of color. The Johnson House allows Black students from across the world to feel at home while simultaneously uplifting the greater Boston and campus community, better preparing them for business in a global economy. ”

Sydney Logan ’21, a CWEL Scholar who originated the idea of The Johnson House

 Speak Your Truth

“Growing up in the D.C. area and being able to go to the location where Dr. King gave his ‘I Have A Dream’ speech, I have been immersed in the positive impact he has had on our community as well as the world. I am an avid climate justice activist, and environmental activism goes hand in hand with social activism. Through numerous experiences, I have learned that the one thing that matters is that you speak your truth and put actions where your mouth is. Anybody can complain about the current state of the world. However, the authenticity demonstrated by Dr. King shows how passion and urgency are the most powerful forces someone can bring, and it always leads to true change.”

Ela Gokcigdem ’24, founder of MyEcoEdu

Much Work to Do

“More than 50 years after Dr. King’s death, the fight against racial injustice is still far from over. Though so much progress has been made, we still have so much work to do. It is extremely important that the people of my generation continue to advocate for equality and strive for a better tomorrow. Not only is it important to research and stay informed about what’s happening, but we need to sign petitions, go to rallies, and make sure that we are pushing society toward equality. I make sure every day to use my voice on social media, in my classes, and through my education to advocate for civil rights.”

Ysbely Santos ’23, Posse Scholar, president of Origins of Necessary Equality, co-president of the Latin American Student Organization

Posted in Campus & Community

More from Campus & Community »
Other Stories
Picture Perfect: The Class of 2021
Picture Perfect: The Class of 2021 »
From the President: The Era of Entrepreneurial Leadership Is upon Us
From the President: The Era of Entrepreneurial Leadership Is upon Us »
Katia Santiago-Taylor: Focus on Wellness
Katia Santiago-Taylor: Focus on Wellness »