Dear Colby-Sawyer Community,
I write with a heavy heart as we watch cities across the country react to the wrongful death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who was killed at the hands of police in Minneapolis, Minn. Not only was Mr. Floyd’s death a tragedy, the divisiveness and hatred evident in the days that have followed have been sobering.
As I reflect on these national events, my attention also focuses on Colby-Sawyer’s community and our values of inclusion, interconnectedness and respect. Now more than ever, we as a community must strive to embody our core values and create an environment on our own campus that attends to racism and bigotry.
Recently, over 100 faculty and staff participated in a two-part series on diversity and inclusion. I was heartened by the honest dialog that occurred during those two workshops. I am keenly aware, however, that our work as a community must be ongoing for us to achieve continuous improvement. This is not easy work, but it is absolutely critical work for us as an educational institution.
Colby-Sawyer has a history of developing leaders across many fields. In today’s complex world, a leader must be attuned to issues of diversity and inclusion. I call upon each of us to continue to reflect on our actions as members of our community. I encourage each of us to look for moments of continued growth and heightened attention to our values. At Colby-Sawyer and beyond, we must take personal responsibility in the fight against racism and hatred.
Finally, with all that is happening in the world right now between racist events and COVID-19, I encourage you to check in with those Colby-Sawyer community members with whom you are closest. Be there for each other as we navigate these trying times in whatever ways you can.
Susan D. Stuebner, Ed.D.
President and Professor of Social Sciences and Education