A Statement to the Greensboro College Community from President Lawrence D. Czarda, Ph.D.
June 2, 2020 6:56 pm
To the Greensboro College Community,
Like many of you, we are disturbed and shaken by the recent murder of George Floyd by a Minnesota police officer. We are equally disturbed that this is only one in a long line of black lives lost due to systematic racism that plagues our country. We grieve for all those who have lost their lives and stand with the families and friends who continue to suffer because of the violence that arises from discrimination and inequality. We are also heartbroken from the violence that has erupted from peaceful protests, the chaos that has been seen in our downtown, and the pandemic that has disrupted all of our lives. We pray for peace, healing, and justice to come.
Our motto of thinking critically, acting justly, and living faithfully calls us to respond not just with words but with actions. We must work as an institution and as individuals to dismantle systematic racism that has influenced and constructed our society. We must engage in difficult conversations, uproot unjust systems, and seek out new paradigms and practices that support equality and justice.
So we must think critically. Last year, Greensboro College established the Office of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion because we recognized the need to address our shortfalls and improve our systems of inclusivity on campus. We seek to critically reflect upon our own practices while also working with our students, faculty, and staff to think deeply and critically about the work of inclusivity and equity.
We must act justly. The Office of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion has created space for our community to engage in conversations about racism and its harmful effects. We have a new space on campus for this work and we are now beginning these conversations online. We are using the model of caucusing, grounded in diversity, equity, and inclusion research, to give space for participants to hold frank, open conversations about the trauma racism causes and the systems that perpetuate it without judgement. The caucused conversations are not the end, but the beginning of longer and broader community conversations about race and discrimination on campus and in our world.
We must live faithfully. As a college of the church, Greensboro College continues to seek to live into the Judeo-Christian values of love, compassion, and justice. We long for the day when “justice will roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.” (Amos 5:24) We will not always get it right. We will not always live up to our ideals. The evils of racism and discrimination may continue to infect our best intentions, but our joint efforts will help us address these evils. We will continue to strive towards creating a better world for all of God’s people. One Pride.
Lawrence D. Czarda, Ph.D., President
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