Dear Gallaudet community:

Friday, August 28 is the 57th anniversary of the historic March on Washington, where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have A Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial. There will be a march on Friday, known as the National Action Network Commitment March.

While we recognize that many of us are preparing for the start of the new academic year, we encourage our staff and faculty to attend this event should they so desire. We also encourage supervisors to support this activity. Staff should submit leave requests as usual, using annual leave or their floating day.

The university will remain open because this is the last Friday before we start the 2020-2021 academic year, and we must continue to provide the support our students need as they prepare for the beginning of classes. For those who will take leave to participate in the Commitment March, please work with your students, supervisors, and teams to make sure our students understand how and when they can get the support they need.  For example, faculty members who wish to participate in the march can give advance notice of their limited or non-availability for that date to their departments and school leaders, and in their email away messages on that date.

We encourage everyone who participates in Friday’s march to follow all health and safety protocols established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the District of Columbia government, including those related to masks and social distancing.

Finally, in January 2020, J. C. Smith and other students of color recreated Dr. King’s speech in American Sign Language. Please take the time to watch this reenactment of this moment in the history of our nation. It has as much relevance today as it did then.


Jeffrey W. Lewis, Ph.D.
Interim Provost

Dominic N. Lacy
Chief Operating Officer