Messages in support of Black Lives Matter

The FLCC and SUNY community share the following messages in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

A Message from FLCC President Robert Nye

Dear FLCC Community,

Over the past several days our nation and our communities have experienced the anger, rage, sadness and grief as a result of the terrible loss of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The inhuman and callous treatment of George Floyd is not an isolated incident, but a long continuation of sad
and unnecessary loss of human life that lays bare the social inequities and social injustices that linger across America.

FLCC President Robert Nye in front of main campus
Robert K. Nye

We cannot ignore it, and we must address this issue. Since 2016, I have asked our College community to treat everyone we encounter with dignity
and respect. Dignity helps us to value individual identity and self-esteem. Respect helps us value others for who they are as individuals. We all deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. Unfortunately, in our world today, and even at times on our own campus, this does not always happen or hold true.

It is the reason that all across America and even in our own communities in the Finger Lakes, we are observing not just peaceful demonstrations, but also civil unrest as a result of years and years of both pernicious and outright visible social inequity and social injustice.

Our College serves as a dynamic learning resource, empowering all our students, and all of our faculty and staff to succeed as unique individuals who deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. When we do so, it is only then, that we may truly contribute to both the cultural vitality and economic vitality within our community. We educate students from all walks of life,
from all races, origins and gender.

By recognizing and appreciating diversity at FLCC, we can make ourselves stronger and provide an example for others throughout the Finger Lakes to
emulate and to counter social inequity and social injustice.

Diversity is strength – I believe this, and I ask that all of us at FLCC dedicate ourselves to embrace diversity, equity and inclusion in everything we do at the college, and to never look away when we see acts of social inequity and social injustice, because substantive change will not come until we stand together, support each other, account for each other, and learn from each other. Now more than ever, we must join together to make a difference, to engage our students, to engage each other, to help bring an end to the despair of social inequity and social injustice wherever it is present in order to make a difference for our College, our community, and our society.

Sincerely,Robert K. Nye signatureRobert K. Nye, Ph.D.

A Message from SUNY Chancellor Kristina Johnson

To the SUNY Community:

As so many of you have, I viewed the killing of George Floyd by the police—without reason, without due process, and without a shred of humanity—with a sense of both outrage and helplessness.

While we mourn this senseless cruelty to one man, protestors around the country are reminding us that what we just have witnessed is, in fact, an example of systemic racism in the United States.

Portrait photo of Kristina Johnson
Kristina Johnson

Despite the beauty of our Constitution and the Bill of Rights, the force of law is still regularly applied unequally and with malicious and disproportionate impact on people that are black, brown and LGBTQ. The injustice is intolerable, and it is compounding the anguish being caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic crisis that has followed. It is easy to feel that our nation is experiencing an existential crisis.

What, can we, as an academic community, do in this moment of horror? Let me assure you that together and with a little focus on an unyielding moral compass, we are neither hopeless nor helpless.

We can’t instantly remake our divided society or divisive politics.
But we can demonstrate some of the same resolve and sheer focus on what’s right that this community has demonstrated in such abundance during the pandemic.

In fact, the compassion, bravery, and ingenuity SUNY people have recently shown in battling COVID-19 gives me hope that there might be answers to our societal miseries.

At SUNY, we were founded in 1948 in part to eliminate discrimination in higher ed, and our mission requires us to be “fully representative of all segments of the population.” When we see something that disadvantages students on the basis of race, ethnicity, economic hardship or gender, we
fix it—including a huge gap between the demographics of our students and the faculty who teach and mentor them. With PRODiG—Promoting Recruitment Opportunities for Diversity and Inclusive Growth—we set a goal last year of hiring 1000 underrepresented minority faculty and women in STEM by 2030, and we are off to a great start.

We are a community that does its best to welcome all, to offer opportunity to all, and to understand that there is power in embracing our differences and joining forces to do great things. At its best, the United States, too, stands for equality of opportunity. At its worst, it refuses to recognize and
repair the history of slavery and the mistreatment of minorities of all kinds.

As an academic community that educates hundreds of thousands of young people every year, we have an opportunity to explore and communicate both the worst and the best of history, and to shape new generations of citizens whose impulses to solve problems, to use their knowledge to help
others, and to serve the greater good no matter the personal costs, can help us to build a more just and caring world and ensure that George Floyd will not have died in vain.

Sincerely yours,
Kristina Johnson signatureKristina M. Johnson, Ph.D.

Author: Lenore Friend

Lenore Friend is the community affairs director at FLCC and the college's liaison with Finger Lakes TV. Contact her at (585) 785-1623 or Lenore.Friend@flcc.edu.

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