This summer has seen a level of violence and inhumanity unparalleled in recent memory: an attack at Pulse in Orlando that left 49 people dead and dozens more wounded; police shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile that rekindled debates about policing and social justice; five Dallas police officers gunned down; and scores killed in Istanbul, Nice, and Baghdad. In addition to these events that received high-profile coverage in Western media, there continue to be other acts of violence rooted in histories of discrimination and of political and cultural conflict.
We share the horror felt everywhere. Though we believe no community members have been lost during these devastating attacks, we are aware of the impact that these events have on everyone in our community. To provide added support for community members, the Pensby Center will be holding open hours on Monday, July 18, from 2-5 p.m. and on Wednesday, July 20, from 11-3 p.m. Students not on campus are reminded that they can reach out to deans at any time for any issue.
Several of the events this summer have continued and deepened attention to issues of social justice. We support those who are working actively for change. To support the growth of our individual and collective responses to those issues, we will continue to host conversations concerning social justice and engagement this fall. Our first two Diversity Conversations are scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 14, from noon-1 p.m. in the Dorothy Vernon Room and Wednesday, Nov. 16, in Dalton 300 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Members of the community who would like to suggest topics for those conversations are encouraged to email ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org. Information about additional programming, including the Community Day of Learning set for March 22, will be sent in August.
We look forward to seeing our full community on campus this fall, when we can work together to propel our campus and our world toward a better future.
Kim Cassidy, President
Vanessa Christman, Assistant Dean of the College for Access and Community Development, The Pensby Center
Stephanie Nixon, Assistant Dean of the College for Diversity, Social Justice and Inclusion and Title IX Coordinator, The Pensby Center