Dear EGCC Students, Staff and Faculty:
George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor joined the names of too many innocent Black Americans who have died from a disease that has infected the very fiber of our country for too long. As the leader of a diverse college community and an employer, I have spent time considering how we can effectively add our voice to the calls for racial justice.
We can not let this moment in history pass without having difficult, uncomfortable and deeply necessary conversations about implicit bias, microaggressions, racism, equality, human dignity and cultural change.
Our leadership team, including me, believes that engaging in discussions about social and racial justice is a moral imperative and central to our mission as a community college. We exist to address the needs of our communities and to provide the skills, tools and resources people need to improve their lives for the better. We have to be the voice for those that have been trying to be heard. We have to listen to those who speak up against injustice in our Black community. Until we stand united with the Black community, we cannot overcome racism in America. In the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
We support everyone’s First Amendment right to peacefully assemble. We denounce all acts of violence, even during protests. We ask that if you protest, you do so legally, peacefully, and mindful that everyone wants to get home safe.
As for EGCC, it’s time to listen. We are establishing an email address for students, staff and faculty to tell us their hopes, fears, concerns, questions or ideas on how we can facilitate conversations and actions. That email is [email protected]. I will take the next few weeks to read and reflect on the feedback we receive, and I will work across EGCC to move forward on next steps to make a difference.
EGCC is as diverse as the communities we serve. Our students come from all 50 states and represent every race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age group and economic background. We will continue to make our campuses – both physical and virtual – a safe and inclusive space for everyone.
Interim President and Chief Financial Officer
Eastern Gateway Community College