Our Ashland University community has been shaken by the murder of George Floyd. The image of a white man in a position of authority with his knee on the neck of a black man pleading for his life has been seared into our minds and souls. We condemn it and the racism and hatred behind it.
At these times, we look to AU’s core values to find a path forward through the darkness. Our Accent on the Individual requires our “collective efforts to challenge and encourage” one another.
And now we collectively challenge the scourge of racism in our culture.
We look to the words of Pastor Steve Garnaas-Holmes:
“There is no standing by.
Racism is a fire in the house:
Either you are actively trying to put it out
Or you are letting it burn.”
As a university committed to justice, we will confront our biases and commit ourselves to ongoing education and action to bring about meaningful, lasting change. We will work with our academic and student affairs leadership to identify and promote a transformational educational experience that seeks to eradicate racial bias in every form.
As a Brethren-affiliated university, we also condemn the violence in our streets, though we understand it. For too long, we have promised reforms as our brothers and sisters, sons and daughters die in our neighborhoods. For too long, we have permitted institutional prejudice and the open mistreatment of people of color. For too long, we have denied opportunity simply on the basis of race. We know that the sword of hatred must be beaten into the ploughshare of peace. We know our call is to "do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God."
For members of our AU family who find they need counseling and support, the university provides these resources for students, faculty and staff: Dr. Oscar McKnight Counseling Services: 419-289-5307 firstname.lastname@example.org or Dr. Yvonne Glass Smetzer Counseling Center at Ashland Theological Seminary email@example.com.
And to the family of George Floyd, we pray that God will sustain you in the unspeakable pain you now endure. May his legacy be that no other family suffer as you have and may the date of his memorial serve as a moral landmark of permanent change demanded by each of us.
Carlos Campo, Ph.d