A Message on the Tragic Events in Charlottesville

Like many of you, I have been following the tragic events that have taken place near the University of Virginia in the Charlottesville community this past weekend.  I have felt a deep sadness for the victims and anger at those individuals who feel the need to exert their self-proclaimed cultural and/or racial primacy through terror and violence on others.  Perhaps like some of you, I feel uncertainty at what the future holds. 

Our thoughts are with the victims of this violence, their families and their loved ones. At Albright, we stand with the University of Virginia and the Charlottesville community. I borrow here some of the compelling words of Kenneth Frazier, CEO and Chairman of Merck, whose moral leadership I honor and respect. At Albright, we honor our community values by rejecting expressions of hatred, bigotry, and group supremacy in all forms.  We value open dialogue, active listening, and free expression of experiences and ideas that lead to increased understanding and stronger community. 

Indeed, the symbols on Albright’s seal represent our focus on the combined pursuit of truth and justice; therefore, we honor, nurture, and celebrate human diversity in all its forms and call into question whatever negates or endangers the dignity and worth of the human spirit.  Violence, intimidation, bigotry and racism inherently conflict with our deeply held core values.

At Albright, we will work together to engage in shared conversations and to continue to develop our skills of actively and respectfully listening to each other’s experiences and stories.  In the near future, you will hear more on these initiatives from the Council for an Inclusive, Thriving, and Equitable Community, a group which has been reconstituted this summer.  As always, Albright’s Counseling Center, Chaplain’s Office, and Office of Human Resources are available to all who would like further support.  As a community, we will work towards truly living our cherished American value that all persons are created equal and we will aim to carry our Albright learning into the wider world.

As the new academic year commences, I wish us all a new beginning of shared understanding and re-dedicated commitment to our common values, here in the Albright community and throughout our American society.

-Jacquelyn S. Fetrow, Ph.D. ’82