Fiat Constructive Change

How we create a more just and inclusive society at Alfred University and beyond remains firmly on our minds. That much remains to be done and that we must remain committed to doing the work has been highlighted recently by the outcome and the aftermath associated with the grand jury verdict in Kentucky regarding the police shooting of 26-year-old EMT nurse Breonna Taylor; and the dehumanizing treatment of Daniel Prude in nearby Rochester.

Alfred University continues to stand for a system of equal justice. In no circumstances is it tolerable that a person be subject to unequal enforcement of the law. We must work for accountability and justice in these and all such cases.

During these challenging times, it also is important for us to be there for each other as we seek to process what, all too unfortunately, we continue to witness. There are many ways we can do this on a personal level and with our community. Continuing to do the work and promoting constructive change is one such way.

Some opportunities to learn, engage in needed dialogue, and ultimately make a difference through our campus community include the following:

·       Becoming involved with our Institute for Cultural Unity (ICU) which is open from 8:30am-5:00pm Monday through Friday this Fall term.

·       Being a part of the peaceful Black Lives Matter protest along Main Street from 5:00-6:00 pm every Wednesday in support of social justice and inclusivity. The weekly gathering draws participants spanning Alfred University, Alfred State College, and Alfred Village.

·       Consider taking courses or minoring in Social Justice Studies or Africana Studies as a student.

·       Joining us for the Common Ground panel that is being organized for Thursday, October 29, from 3:20-4:10 pm that will focus on the COVID-19 pandemic and its disparate impact on our society. The panel will feature: Dr. Meredith Field, a new sociology professor of ours who will focus on the impact on medical workers and gender disparities; trustee Bryan Hill ’90, county executive of Fairfax County, Virginia, who will talk about the differential impacts on races and economic classes; Yasmin Mattox ’07, the award-winning founder of startup Arkatecht who will speak to the impact on working mothers; and Jericho Shackelford ’13, a double major in English and Political Science living in New York City, who will address the challenges he confronted when he contracted COVID-19.

A few months ago, our track and field coach Angie Taylor shared a powerful quote from noted Black writer James Baldwin: “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” With these words in mind, let’s build on our University’s DNA of being instruments for constructive change.

Fiat constructive change!