Dear Campus Community:
We are facing deep pain as a nation, and this challenging time is compounded by the stressors of the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the past few months, three African Americans were unjustly killed while doing everyday activities. Ahmaud Arbery was jogging in South Georgia. Breonna Taylor, a first responder in Louisville, was in her own home. George Floyd was shopping in Minneapolis.
The recent events have many people feeling close to a tipping point. During this time, it is critical to acknowledge the hurt and outrage, and focus on our core values that binds us as a community. NKU is proud to be a diverse campus in race, ethnicity, religion and sexual orientation. We value the many perspectives and voices of our students, faculty and staff. That is what drives our success and purpose.
The pandemic and tragic events of the past few months, have exposed the inequities and disparities that persist in our society. We must face these harsh realities and find new ways to take thoughtful and intentional action to support the change we need.
As a steward of place, NKU is working hard to build our organizational capacity for a more equitable, inclusive and just society. In January, we welcomed our inaugural Chief Diversity Equity & Inclusion Officer, who along with the Inclusive Excellence Council, is leading the effort to create goals that will help shape our future through the Success by Design Strategic Framework. We have active diversity groups on campus, including the Office of Latino Programs and Services, African American Student Initiatives and LBGTQ Programs and Services. They are part of the many factors that make our campus a safe and welcoming home where everyone belongs and is valued.
It is in these challenging times that NKU must serve as a beacon of hope and set an example through our leadership. In looking to our core values, we will foster a community of belonging by embracing equity, diversity and inclusiveness. We will maintain a climate of collegiality built on respect and characterized by open communication and shared responsibility. These words are not just there to serve as part of our mission statement. They are woven into the very fabric of what NKU stands for and holds dear. Every one of us in the NKU family must live these values every day. That is how we lead while moving forward.
To paraphrase the great Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “The ultimate measure of a person is not where you stand in moments of comfort and convenience, but where you stand at times of challenge and controversy.”
Here at NKU, we stand together to advance change and social justice. We grieve in solidarity with our communities of color and renew our commitment to creating a more equitable community. Let us remember to take care of each other.