Dear Members of the Harvard Community,
I am pleased to announce that the Honorable Loretta Lynch, AB ’81, JD ’84, will return to our campus in October to deliver the 2023 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Lecture.
The granddaughter of a sharecropper and pastor who fought against the evils of Jim Crow, Ms. Lynch has committed herself, throughout a long and distinguished career, to social and racial justice. During her tenure as the 83rd U.S. attorney general, she advanced democracy, equal justice, and the rule of law. She fought against discriminatory new obstacles to the hard-earned right to vote; she vigorously prosecuted hate crimes that targeted people, in her words, “because of what they look like, where they worship or whom they love”; and she investigated police brutality and challenged unconstitutional law enforcement practices in places throughout the country so that we might edge nearer to the ideal of a nation of laws, of a nation of equal justice under law. In these and countless other ways, Ms. Lynch has spent her storied career working toward “creating a society that respects the rights and affirms the dignity of all people, regardless of color or creed, gender or ethnicity.”
I am extremely proud that Loretta Lynch is a Harvard alumna. She is a courageous individual whose work offers inspiration as well as hope. May she remind us today—and later this year—of the power of persistence in the uneven path toward justice.
All the best,