We are horrified by the death of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and too many others. We mourn for their families, communities, and for all suffering from injustice. Their deaths cry out for answers to questions that have plagued our nation and communities for too long. In the coming days, weeks and months, I hope Pacific College can play a role in seeking solutions that answer those questions. How?
First, Pacific College rejects racism and all other forms of injustice. The challenge in writing this to you today is that many may think this should be obvious and could go without saying. And yet, after reflection and a conversation today with a wise woman, I know that for some it is not obvious, and it does need saying. The ideals of fairness, equality, and justice do not yet apply to all. Our effort to achieve them should be daily, rather than reignited only by the most egregious incidents.
Therefore, the community of Pacific College will apply its institutional values of integrity, critical thinking, mindfulness, compassion, education and collaboration to constructive discourse, study, and evidence-informed, solutions-oriented action. Yesterday, those efforts were directed at succeeding in the face of a pandemic. Today, they are directed at defeating bigotry, racism, and violence. I look forward to your ideas, as well as to the results of our actions.
Pacific College is dedicated to an environment where each voice is heard. Each and every member of our community deserves to feel safe, welcomed and supported in expressing their thoughts and feelings, as well as solutions to these events. We embrace and celebrate every form of diversity. We will use our resources and creativity to ensure a peaceful enjoyment of your time at Pacific College. We are always dedicated to students’ success and the success of our employees. We understand that events of the day have an effect on your studies or your work. And, while I am confident in your ability to achieve your worthy goals and to be a source of inspiration for our communities, if there is anything we can do to help you personally or professionally, please ask. We support each other. And more than ever, I need your support in achieving our goals.
From the first day you entered Pacific College, I have considered you all, students, faculty, and staff to be nothing less than colleagues. Now more than ever, we have an opportunity to work together as colleagues for worthy personal and social goals. I am reminded today that Pacific means peaceful. It is my deepest wish that we find the answers to personal and social injustices and find peace.
Students, for help and support, we offer the services of Well Connect, as well as your academic advisors, deans, and directors, of course. Employees can find help and support in Human Resources. And, I hope we can all find help and support from each other.
Jack Miller, President