Reflections on our Current Moment
June 2, 2020
To my fellow members of the Muhlenberg Community,
I write to you today feeling called to name the injustices we are witnessing, to be with you in community, and to uplift those among us, particularly in the Black community, who are led to believe that our lives are less valuable than others. At the same time, I am feeling at a loss for words, flooded instead with emotions, many of which are often deemed too ugly or intense or inappropriate to share in public spaces and forums. I want to affirm, however, that feeling anguish and crying out after witnessing the racist murder of George Floyd is an appropriate response to violent and senseless loss. Feeling anger after learning of the homicide of Breonna Taylor in her home at the hands of police is an appropriate response to an unprovoked killing of an unarmed woman. Feeling fear after witnessing Ahmaud Arbery being hunted and killed while on a jog is an appropriate response to racist violence. The weight of this feels too heavy a lift, the pain too crushing to face, and it has kept me from raising my voice publicly thus far.
I am, however, personally called today, as I have been in my career, to play an active role in resisting racial injustice and caring for my community. I can do that by offering safe spaces to express our collective grief. I can listen to students, staff, and faculty and work to insure that minoritized voices are reaching the very top of our institutional leadership and incorporated into action. I can deploy my training and expertise to educate others on anti-racism and effective allyship to support those who want to join the resistance. Opportunities to join me in all of the above will be announced in the coming days. And to those who are witnessing the murders of these Black men and women, and are seeing your aunt, your cousin, or your brother like I am, I can remind you that you matter, that your presence in our community matters, that your safety matters, that your dreams matter, and that your life matters. I am here for all of us who are hurting today and all of us who will be in the fight for racial justice tomorrow.
Yours in community and solidarity,
S. Brooke Vick, Ph.D.
Associate Provost for Faculty and Diversity Initiatives