It is with a grieving heart and torn emotion that I share this letter of hope and encouragement for a more tolerant society. The last few days and nights have brought our communities and our nation to its knees. The way in which Mr. George Floyd was treated and eventually died has made a strong and forceful statement about the racial disparity and cry for equality that is needed in our country. We need to recognize and challenge the inequities of race in society and become a model for acceptance throughout our community.
Protests, disruptive behavior and physical damage to property is the outcry of one's inability to be heard. In a post recently shard on Facebook by our Gateway Technical College student ambassador, Megan Bahr writes; "As soon as you feel ready, start the conversation with a person of color, hear the story they've been trying to share, try to better understand what you can do to be an ally." This is really good advice. Listening to each other provides a broader context to the history and meaning of white privilege and the treatment of all under represented people of color. As an institution of higher education guided by the power of learning we have a responsibility to use this beacon of reality to strengthen our commitment to our faculty, students, staff and community. A commitment to bear witness to the injustice and respond with an even brighter light on the struggles of race relations, inequities within the criminal justice system, and the imbalance of economics on those left behind.
As a community, we must remain united in our resolve to address such injustices in meaningful ways. As president, I recognize that events like this can have a powerful impact on our lives and I commit to you that we will join the effort to heal our community through justice, and respect the dignity that all people deserve.
Lean on each other for comfort, and don't be afraid to reach out if you are in need of assistance. Students our support services and counseling professionals are here for you. Reach out and use them to help you through this challenging emotional time. For faculty and staff, the college Employee Assistance Program is available for you and I encourage you to strengthen your resolve through healthy dialog and reconciliation.
The events of this past week underscore the important work of our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Steering Committee and we are grateful for their continued efforts and collaborations to move our college towards antiracism, inclusion and equity.
Bryan Albrecht, Ed.D.
President and Chief Executive Officer