Joint Statement of Unity and Justice
The death of George Floyd is a tragic reminder of the bias and violence that exist in our community. As leaders of higher education institutions within our community, we felt it paramount to publicly communicate our stance on the social unrest that has recently swept our nation. As we grieve for innocent lives lost, we strengthen our resolve to be part of the creation of a better world, a world in which reason and compassion prevail over ignorance and hatred.
We believe education is a determining factor in changing the tides of racism. Our institutions will be part of the solution. We are dedicated to providing an equitable educational experience to a diverse group of students from a variety of socioeconomic backgrounds without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age or ability.
We support our students; their dignity and safety are our first priority.
We support the communities where we live, work and serve. We support the equitable, ethical treatment of all.
We support our local law enforcement and hold them to a standard of integrity as equal members of the community.
We support the power of unification. We will continue to speak out in our community as a cohesive body with one voice. We will commit ourselves to creating solutions and not contributing to the problem. We respect those whose opinions differ from our own.
We were encouraged to see our community band together in a peaceful protest over the past week. Demonstrators in Elizabeth City-Pasquotank set a positive example for our region, state and nation, exhibiting the capacity to listen to all voices, standing in unison and sharing in prayer.
College of The Albemarle, Elizabeth City State University and Mid-Atlantic Christian University are committed to long term systemic change for racial justice in our community. Our institutions will collaborate and expand upon our current partnerships to bring our students together for meaningful conversations and to allow dialogue across our student bodies that will positively impact the future of our students and our institutions. Now, more than ever, we must stand together as a community of scholars. We must recall our values, and find our strength in our principles. During these difficult times, we urge all to stay united as a community and to support each other.
Signature of support,
Dr. Jack N. Bagwell
President, College of the Albemarle
Dr. Karrie G. Dixon
Elizabeth City State University
John W. Maurice, Jr.
President, Mid-Atlantic Christian University