Dear faculty, staff and students,
At this moment, people of all races gather in response to fatal police shootings in Minnesota and Louisiana that sparked protests across the country. And yes, in the days ahead we need to allow investigations by local and federal authorities to proceed in orderly fashion to gather all the facts. That said, it’s heartbreaking as I watch the horrific cell phone videos and then later the tearful families in mourning, and now a nation in mourning. Like many, I feel shock, sadness, grief, anger and frustration.
Fortunately, I have been listening to civil rights leader and congressman John Lewis, who himself was beaten and jailed more than 40 times in the 1960s as he struggled for equality. He spoke out against racism and injustice this week, and urged protesters—many of them young people—to remain calm in the wake of these tragic events and to never, never give up.
In that very moment, I thought of our students who started the campus organization IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access). Their group had the courage and determination to stand up and speak out in the spring semester, leading an effort to make a positive difference in making our own campus a more welcoming and inclusive community.Continue Reading