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The arc of the universe. . . bends toward justice

A letter from Dr. Monica Smith, Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion on May 29, 2020

Dear Students and Employees,

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, communities of color continue to deal with another public health crisis - racial violence that has led to death. National and international news has reported on the incidents involving Ahmaud Arbrey, Breonna Taylor and most recently, George Floyd. There are too many more whose names could be called here. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends of these and other victims who are unnamed. 

Calling the names of the victims and other memorializations is noble. Sending condolences to families and friends is appropriate. These sentiments do not seem to be enough. Nevertheless, it is essential to do it as an authentic expression of care and concern for our fellow citizens. 

What does one do when words are not enough? We empower ourselves and one another to act in accordance with justice. 

One of the many reasons I was drawn to Augustana College is the Five Faith Commitments, particularly social justice. The college has a history of involvement in advancing social justice. We need to continue in that vein. Justice demands addressing the chronic systemic issues that adversely impact our brothers and sisters. Next week, I will outline a plan of action that will aid those who are interested to respond to these events and be proactive in Quad Cities. 

There is no better time than now to recall Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s quote "The arc of the universe is long but it bends toward justice." But  how far have we come on the arc of justice? This two minute clip offers insight into how far we have come and how much more we must do. Please watch.

Onward together,

Dr. Smith