Dear Students, Faculty, Staff, and Trustees of Northern Essex Community College:
Last week’s death of George Floyd, a black man, handcuffed, on the ground, and in custody, at the hands of Derek Chauvin, a white Minneapolis police officer, was reprehensible and senselessly tragic.
As the nation, already struggling with one of the greatest healthcare and economic crises we have ever faced, has spent the days since grappling with our collective history of racism and injustice, otherwise peaceful protests in cities across the country, including last night in Boston, have turned into scenes of angry riots, violence, and destruction.
Northern Essex Community College, like community colleges across America, was founded on principles of social justice. We exist to turn inequality into equity, and every fiber of our being cries with pain at the death of George Floyd, and the countless other black men and all people of color who have died, suffered, and been held back by societal and institutional racism.
Today, our hearts are with the family of George Floyd, and with the African American community everywhere experiencing, yet again, this horrible mistreatment.
And our Core Values, our commitment as educators to equity for all, our dedication to Civic Engagement and Social Justice are with the hundreds of thousands of peaceful protestors in Boston and cities from coast-to-coast, lifting up our collective voices to finally, once and for all, make change for the better.
If you are a student in need of support during this challenging time, I encourage you to visit the resources available to you on NECC’sCounseling and Psychological Services web page, or to arrange a virtual meeting, you can call (978) 556-3730 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Faculty and staff in need of support have access to the NECC Employee Assistance Program.
Now, as much as at any time in our history as a college and as a country, we need to demonstrate caring and compassion for one another, and use every available strength and tool we have to peacefully and persistently insist on equity and social justice.