Earlier this week, Dr. Wright sent the following letter to all faculty and staff of Southwest Virginia Community College.
Over the last few days, we’ve seen another life taken that has caused some of us to yet again be concerned for where we are as a nation. My hope is that this time we will not allow ourselves to become calloused to the issue but will encourage true conversations and dialogue as to what we can do individually, collectively, as a college, and as a community to impact the change that is needed to deal with the past 400 years of racial injustice.
At Southwest Virginia Community College, we are against racial discrimination, racial injustice, and racial violence. The brutal and shocking deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery are only the most recent reminder that COVID-19 is not the only pandemic we are combating as a nation.
The world mobilized to find a cure for the novel coronavirus. We must also take action to remove the disease of racism. Violence is never the solution. We must be compassionate towards our fellow humans. We must see each other as equal and treat one another with kindness and respect.
Kofi Annan said, “If tolerance, respect and equity permeate family life, they will translate into values that shape societies, nations and the world.”
The Southwest family stands in solidarity with our Black, African American, and minority faculty, staff, and students. We stand in support of racial equality. We stand in support of a world that is safer for all ages, races, genders, identities, religions, and status.
One of the core values at Southwest is inclusiveness and our mission is to provide quality education and cultural enrichment opportunities. Through our values and mission, I know we have and we will continue to realize our vision to transform lives, strengthen communities, and inspire excellence.
Earlier this semester, I asked Dr. Brian Wright to begin thinking about ways in which we could increase our diversity and inclusion efforts and we talked about a speakers series for this academic year. While we can’t meet together for such a series, we will be coordinating a speakers series that I hope will help generate this much needed dialogue and provide all of us with even more tools that we can use to help support our inclusion and diversity efforts.
Dr. Tommy Wright