“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?'”
Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, a national holiday and a special day here at Boston University. One of BU’s most distinguished alumni, Dr. King (STH ’55) had the courage to lift his voice while that of others quivered, lead the way while some retreated, and demand equality while many stood idly by.
It is sometimes hard for us to contextualize Dr. King’s words. What would we, as college students, know about the loss of civil rights, the denial of basic liberties? Despite our tendency to think of ourselves as progressive and modern, the most basic essentials of life are being denied to victims of Haiti’s earthquake. Some might be tempted to think that Haiti’s population is suffering because it is a poor country. What, then, do we have to say about New Orleans?
Hurricane Katrina made landfall in August of 2005. It was the costliest hurricane in United States history, and the deadliest one since 1928. It took at least 1,836 lives and left behind over $100 billion in damages, as well as thousands of displaced persons. Entire families lost their homes, their livelihoods, their possessions. The evacuation, as we all know, was chaotic, filled with looting and violence. The destruction of New Orleans was a mass failure by the government to provide for its citizens.
Our trip to New Orleans focuses on the rescue of animals, but it is a part, albeit small, in the recovery of a vibrant city, still in disrepair. While we encourage you to come to Louisiana with us to help a city, different from our own but equally beautiful, we also support the other 34 trips, each one an answer to Dr. King’s question: what are you doing for others?
Registration begins online at 8 AM on Sunday, January 31. We will be at the info sessions on Tuesday, January 19 and Tuesday, January 26, from 7 to 9 PM, so please come by to ask questions or get more information.