June 1, 2020
Dear HCB Colleagues,
We must do our part to create a different future!
This week witnessed yet one more completely unnecessary, senseless death of an African-American, and again at the hands of those sworn to protect. Racism has taken another victim. George Floyd, innocent and as worthy of “life and the pursuit of happiness” as are you and me. Our hearts are with his family and we mourn with them. Along with mourning and sympathy, I hope that we also feel empathy and anger…an anger that motivates us to positive action.
But what can we do? Individually, we can make a difference. Together we can produce profound change.
We can look within ourselves and our families Through honest introspection, we can root out any lingering sentiment that would have us believe that we are inherently better than another. We are fellow human beings, we are brothers and sisters, we are equal in the eyes of the Almighty, however we envision that being.
We can reach out to others. We can be respecters of all, inclusive of all, accepting of all. When others are hurting, we all are hurt (whether or not we realize it in the moment). There is far more that binds us together and that we hold in common than that which could divide us. We must fight such divisions and those who espouse them. We can protect and celebrate both that which we hold in common and that which makes each of us unique. It is our diversity that gives life its texture and its adventure. Our diversity can be…should be our greatest strength…a point of pride.
We are responsible for our individual actions; we are responsible individually and collectively for creating a world in which each has opportunity to succeed. Anything less is a failure of each and a failure of all.
What happened in Minneapolis was horrific; it was terrible; it was a tragedy. Let’s attack, through self-awareness and community consciousness, those beliefs that give rise to such events. Let there be no harbor for such beliefs in our minds, in our homes, in our college, on our campus, in our community, in our lives.
Let’s work toward a better future!
Stephen L. Mangum
Dean and Stokely Foundation Leadership Chair
Haslam College of Business