President Pehrsson responds to George Floyd death

June 2, 2020

On any given day, turn on the news, and examples of violence abound. Sometimes, it seems as if we’re driven to find ways to separate ourselves from one another. The current health crisis has demonstrated that it has never been more important to work together, to help one another, and to be patient and kind toward one another. As cities across the country erupt in racial violence, we must stand firm and state that this is not acceptable.

At Clarion University, we find the death of George Floyd appalling. This is a senseless loss. While the man responsible has been arrested and charged in Floyd's death, his punishment will not erase the problem or ease our collective sadness and anger.

I ask then, what will?

Racial inequality persists in our country, and in times of crisis, such as now, unfairness grows. At Clarion University, the Presidential Commission on Racial Equity exists to promote focused conversations on racial issues including equality, inclusion, privileges, race relations, and other areas affecting underrepresented populations. Our faculty and staff are dedicated to making the world a better place.

Our commission members have gathered resources, the purpose of which is to foster understanding, embrace our differences and work together to encourage respectful discussions. Please visit the Featured Resources LibGuide where podcasts, videos and articles are available. These materials can spark meaningful conversations and learning. To grow and to make the world a safer place, we all need to continue to learn.

Last year, we went a bit further and developed the President's Diversity Advisory Council, chaired by Dr. Brenda Dede and Dr. Jane Walsh. The work of the council is to advance inclusiveness and to strengthen our university environment so that Clarion is a place where all feel welcome. We have more to do, and we will continue. We know that diversity enriches us and makes us better. It enriches not just the educational experience, but the human experience.

Throughout the spring, we've been hearing "we're in this together" in relation to COVID-19. Through solidarity as human beings, we've had an impact on that disease. It's time to use our collective power to eliminate the disease of racism.

Last Updated 6/2/20