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Standing Together: A message from President Kathryn Foster and Vice President James Felton

The below message was shared via email with all members of TCNJ’s campus community on Monday, June 1, 2020:

Dear TCNJ Community,

Last week’s death of George Floyd was yet another example of the racism, bigotry, and incivility facing the nation and the members of every community. It follows the deaths of Breonna Taylor in March, Ahmaud Arbery in February and so many others. These losses bring pain and trauma for students, faculty, and staff. As human beings and partners in higher learning we must stand together against the hate and violence demonstrated in this case and so many others.

For too long, too many in our country have turned a blind eye to racism in the hopes that it will simply go away. We cannot continue to ignore this problem. Racism is not just a person of color issue. It is everyone’s issue, which makes it everyone’s responsibility to actively work against it—today and every day.

At TCNJ, we are committed to doing the difficult work necessary to grow and sustain a community where all members are valued and treated equally. This is reflected in the creation in late 2018 of the Division of Equity and Inclusion and the valuable programming and initiatives it sponsors. Its efforts are aimed at promoting action to address issues of hate and bias for the campus and broader community. Please refer to the division’s webpage for updates on programming. We’re planning to launch an anti-hate initiative in the fall that we hope will receive your support and participation.

Though we can’t be together, we challenge all members of the TCNJ community to confront and address racism and hate in your own community, the nation, and the world. We challenge you to find opportunities to share in our common humanity, and treat each other with dignity and respect. These are just a few of the qualities that reflect the values of our strong TCNJ community. We demonstrate these values as a constant reminder that George Floyd’s life and all black lives matter.

In solidarity and with commitment,

Kathryn A. Foster

James A. Felton III
Vice President for Equity and Inclusion