Daemen College recently issued an official statement denouncing the murder of George Floyd and condemning acts of discrimination while calling for lasting changes in the fight against racial injustice.
The statement was released as the official position of the college, and, as such is the strongest kind of condemnation an institution can take.
“The entire college community was sickened by this senseless murder,” said Daemen President Gary Olson. “The college’s senior leadership wished to express outrage at the killing of Mr. Floyd and other similar incidents that are a painful reminder of the injustices that exist in our country. Collectively, we are all incensed by these racially based, unconscionable acts of violence, which underscore that our nation continues to struggle with systemic racism and that as a culture we still have much work to do to bring about racial justice.”
The official statement emphasized that the college remains steadfastly committed to educating citizens “who will work to bring meaningful and lasting change to the organizations and systems in this country that clearly need it. Our college community is committed to an environment where students will understand the value of diversity and will recognize the importance of a global perspective.”
During this difficult time, Daemen’s Center for Diversity and Inclusion has been serving as a valuable resource to students and the entire campus community. The center, which supports programs and initiatives to promote an educational experience enriched by a deep understanding of diversity, is designed to be responsive to the current climate and to changes in the community, such as the recent protests and unrest across the U.S.
“The dialogue taking place in the wake of George Floyd’s death will be paramount to helping our country to heal and address the universal injustices that exist in our nation in order for us to effect real and lasting change,” said Dr. Ida Gibson, chief diversity officer. “These recent events serve as a catalyst for our continued commitment to build a college community that embraces inclusiveness and respect for people of all backgrounds and experiences. Daemen’s community is strong, and, together, we can make a difference.”
Olson noted that as an institution of higher education Daemen has a responsibility to be a leader in overcoming the injustices of racism and to model respect and civility, as well as uphold the values of diversity and inclusion on the college’s campus and beyond.
“We abhor violence of any kind and the persecution and blatant racism that we have all witnessed,” said Olson. “We support those who have experienced injustice and those who are peacefully practicing their constitutional right to protest, bring awareness, and seek justice.”
Dr. Greg Nayor, vice president for strategic initiatives, added, “Creating an inclusive campus community will be even more important than it was before. We owe it to our current and future students to provide them the opportunity to become individuals who understand the inequities in the world and to take action to help this nation live up to the values it extolls.”