MnSCU statement on racism and intolerance
Dear students, faculty and staff,
Recent events on campuses across the country remind us of the ugliness of racism and intolerance and its painful impact on the lives of our students, faculty, and staff. Because we are not immune to racism here in Minnesota, today we stand together – as leaders of Minnesota’s state colleges and universities – to condemn racism and intolerance and reaffirm our commitment to our core value: our colleges and universities are places of hope and opportunity where everyone can create a better future for themselves, for their families, and for their communities. And when we say everyone, we really do mean everyone.
The challenge for our nation and for our colleges and universities is how we, as a community, turn our core value into action and how we make absolutely certain that, on our campuses, hope defeats hate so that all Minnesotans fulfill their dreams for a better future.
We cannot deny the existence of racism and intolerance or pretend we do not hear racist and hateful language. And we cannot stand indifferent in the face of this historical challenge to eliminate racism and intolerance in our communities. Although we have taken deliberate steps to better understand the subtle and not so subtle ways that racism is practiced and experienced so our campuses can be more diverse and welcoming and so all students can succeed, there is much more work to be done.
When it comes to racism and intolerance, the way forward begins with a willingness to engage with each other with empathy and concern in what are sometimes difficult conversations. But, talking is not enough. We must listen – truly listen – to each other in a sincere effort to better understand our different perspectives and experiences. We must learn to build bridges across these differences. And, we absolutely must stand against racism and intolerance and work together with an abiding commitment to deliver solutions.
We must use the events of the past few weeks to rededicate ourselves to listening better than ever before; acting with a greater sense of urgency than ever before; and working together better than ever before in a spirit of trust and generosity.
Steven Rosenstone, Chancellor, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities
Laura Urban, President, Alexandria Technical and Community College
Kent Hanson, President, Anoka-Ramsey Community College and Anoka Technical College
Richard Hanson, President Bemidji State University and Northwest Technical College
Larry Lundblad, President, Central Lakes College
Pat Opatz, Interim President, Century College
Tim Wynes, President Dakota County Technical College and Inver Hills Community College
Larry Anderson, President, Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College
Merrill Irving, Jr., President, Hennepin Technical College
Patrick Johns, President, Lake Superior College
Devinder Malhotra, Interim President, Metropolitan State University
Avelino Mills-Novoa, Interim President, Minneapolis Community and Technical College
Dorothy Duran, President, Minnesota State College – Southeast Technical
Peggy Kennedy, President, Minnesota State Community and Technical College
Richard Davenport, President, Minnesota State University, Mankato
Anne Blackhurst, President, Minnesota State University Moorhead
Terry Gaalswyk, President, Minnesota West Community and Technical College
Joyce Ester, President, Normandale Community College
Bill Maki, President, Northeast Higher Education District
Barbara McDonald, President, North Hennepin Community College
Dennis Bona, President, Northland Community and Technical College
Joe Mulford, President, Pine Technical and Community College
Douglas Allen, President, Ridgewater College
Adenuga Atewologun, President, Riverland Community College
Leslie McClellon, President, Rochester Community and Technical College
Rassoul Dastmozd, President, Saint Paul College
Joyce Helens, President, St. Cloud Technical and Community College
Earl Potter, President, St. Cloud State University
Annette Parker, President, South Central College
Connie Gores, President, Southwest Minnesota State University
Scott Olson, President, Winona State University