Dear North Central College Campus Community,
We are writing in the wake of the grand jury announcement regarding indictments in the shooting death of Breonna Taylor in March in Louisville, Kentucky.
For all of us in the campus community—particularly our Black students, faculty, and staff––this is a very sad and difficult moment in time. We have organized two events to help us all as a community to share and support one another, in particular our Black students, faculty, and staff:
Fireside Chat: Monday, September 28, 12 p.m.
We know how important it is for our campus community to honestly express and discuss thoughts and feelings. With that in mind, we invite the campus to a Fireside Chat hosted by the Office of Multicultural Affairs on Monday, September 28, at 12 p.m. via Zoom. This event provides an opportunity for students, faculty and staff to openly process their reactions to the announcement in a supportive space.
Vigil: Friday, September 25, 12 p.m.
In addition, the Office of Faith and Action will host a physically distanced vigil on Friday, September 25, at 12 p.m. on the lawn of Old Main. We will use this opportunity to come together and honor Ms. Taylor and all Black people whose lives are affected by injustice.
These events provide opportunities for us to continue our fight against racism on campus and in our society. More details about these programs will be shared soon.
Clearly there is still much work to be done to improve a justice system that has failed for too long to adhere to the constitutional principle of equal treatment under the law. We must work to change the culture and systems that have allowed generations of systemic racism to persist in this country.
At North Central College we consider this a sacred obligation not only because our core values include diversity, equity and inclusion, but because we strive to be compassionate and ethical human beings. Our community must serve as a catalyst for measurable change. Much work remains to be done––and we will do it–– as we stand together in support of the Black community, and in particular our Black students, faculty and staff.
At the start of the semester, we were all reminded of our responsibility to respect and affirm one another as our College and country address the continuing effects of racism. Black lives matter, and today’s decision in Kentucky inspires an even stronger commitment to do the hard work of making this campus––and this nation––a better place for everyone, especially the Black members of our community.
Troy D. Hammond
Professor of Physics
North Central College
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Professor of English
North Central College