Dear Oglethorpe Community,
It is with great humility and sadness that we reach out to you as protests unfold in the aftermath of the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery. These senseless deaths and the continued crisis of racism-fueled violence in America has caused immeasurable suffering and pain. Watching the endless stream of images from the coverage over the past few days can conjure many complex emotions. You may have felt fear for your own safety or the safety of loved ones, outrage for how People of Color are disproportionately affected by systemic injustice and violence, or distress about the entrenched discord in our nation.
These emotions can lead us all to feel helpless about our ability to change the situation that elicits them. But fear and anger can also be powerful catalysts for change. We have the agency to create positive change in our city, in our state, and in our country. Our engagement with critical issues in the classroom and in our community allows all of us to be a part of that change. Voting allows us to be a part of that change. Striving to understand the lived experiences of our friends, our classmates, and our colleagues allows us to be a part of that change.
Most importantly, change is predicated on the continued affirmation that the lives of Black people matter at Oglethorpe, in Atlanta, and in this country.
We mustn’t let our fear of the unknown stand in the way of meaningful engagement with this national dialogue about race in America and a commitment to make positive change. For many reasons, this will be a year etched into the history books. Our hope is that we can all remember and speak proudly about what we said and did.
President Schall and President-Elect Ladany