Dear Franklin College Students,
Earlier today, you heard from President Prather, who articulated Franklin College’s commitment to your safety, happiness, and success and emphasized the importance of graduating students who have developed the courage to speak and the confidence to lead during times of crisis. I want to echo his message and firmly assert to the Black students who are part of our community: your lives, and the lives of all Black people, matter.
As our world negotiates a health pandemic that disproportionately impacts the Black community, and responds to violence that is difficult to comprehend, we want to reinforce that you are welcome and celebrated at Franklin College. While its connection to Ben Franklin is dubious, the spirit of this statement, often attributed to him, rings true: “Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.” Let our education compel us to seek our roles in working towards justice for vulnerable populations. As today is the start of Pride Month, it seems appropriate also to recognize the important work still to do with and for the LGBTQ community and to emphasize that the intersectionality of identities can compound injustices and challenges.
It is difficult to navigate tragedy under the best of circumstances. It is even more challenging to do so when we are apart: separated both by distance and the summer months. But tragedy cannot break the ties that bind Grizzlies together. If you need additional support to process what is happening or would be interested in participating in a conversation this summer, please reach out to those listed below. In the meantime, please take care of yourself and each other until we are able to greet you in person in the fall to continue these important conversations.
Terri Roberts Leonard, Director of Diversity & Inclusion: email@example.com
John Shafer, Director of Counseling: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hannah Adams Ingram, Director of Religious Life and Chaplain: email@example.com
Andrew Jones, Vice President for Student Development and Dean of Students: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Andrew B. Jones
Vice President for Student Development & Dean of Students