Dr. T’s thoughts on unrest in Minneapolis, our core values

Everyone has a family

Good afternoon, Saints family,

Since Monday, we have seen horrifying reports from Minneapolis, Minn., where George Floyd died while being arrested. Despite the geographic distance between Seward County Community College and the Twin Cities, we have a stake in the situation because of our shared humanity. Our hearts go out to the Floyd family, and to the many Americans of color who feel a growing sense of fear, anger, and weariness.

At SCCC, our core values of trust, valuing others, and integrity mean that we each carry a responsibility to concern ourselves with others, and to work for positive change in our own sphere of influence.

Many of us have personal ties to the African American community through marriage, grandchildren, and beloved elders. I think of my dear friend Brian, who many of you met when he visited Liberal and spoke at an all team meeting, the brilliant minds that I had the honor to collaborate with in inner-city St. Louis through leadership programs, my diverse-minded students who taught me more than I probably taught them while teaching throughout the Chicago-land area, and so many others who have brought me personal joy and inspiration through their stories. It was an honor to be welcomed into those communities and experiences, where I was the outsider and needed a helping hand to find my way. The reality that any of these people could suffer violence or death simply because of the color of their skin fills me with anger.

We all have relationships with someone who may not share our life circumstances or racial background. I think of our Saints students, who come from all over the nation, and the world. I think of our friends and neighbors here in Liberal and the area.

When we face injustice, upheaval, or the trials of life, as Saints we must do what we can to make things better. While the nation prays for and demands a just outcome in Minnesota, we can each do our part right here. Let’s work for peace, understanding, and genuine respect between individuals.

RECOMMENDED RESOURCES FROM THE SCCC INCLUSIVENESS TEAM
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If you aren’t sure where to start, resources are abundant on the Internet and via social media. At SCCC, our Inclusiveness & Civility Here are a few places to start; please keep in mind the various political opinions in some links belong to their authors, and not to SCCC. We advocate that each person take on the task of learning about these issues to the greatest extent possible, being willing to overlook moments of discomfort in the interest of understanding others. 

• 75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice

• Anti-Racism Resources for White People

• Interviews with Wendell Berry, poet and author of “The Hidden Wound”

Let’s show curiosity and ask questions about what is unknown to us. Let’s practice humility and really listen to what others have to say. Once we know someone’s story, the opportunity to find common respect can occur and can be more powerful than imaginable.

Above all, let’s continue the time-honored tradition of generosity, personal responsibility, and kindness that have marked this community for generations.

Have a peaceful and restorative weekend. Stay well.

Dr. T



Categories: Core Values, Opinion & Commentary, President's Blog

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