Sadly, the awful events in the last week once again have reminded us that among many good people in our society are some who would do harm to others. As we grieve with the families of those who have been taken from us in recent days, we must continue our search for peace.
Whether it is black men killed by police officers, police officers killed while they protect those engaging in peaceful demonstration or a gunman shooting into a nightclub in Florida, we must condemn horrific acts in our search for peace. We must defeat hate and those who may seek to divide us through hate.
In many corners of America, we are reflecting upon what leads to such despicable acts and where the road leads from here. Some have looked to our history, to other times of national trauma, to peacemakers such as Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. – and as Dr. King often said, we cannot fight violence with violence. Now, more than ever, we must all accept the duty of rejecting fear, bigotry and the politics of division. We cannot succumb to the urge to condemn and scapegoat others and recklessly cast blame. Now is the time to take on the hard work of defending our shared belief in universal respect and justice, and in our fundamental right of living our lives in peace.
Now, our university community has a unique responsibility to lead – in actions, by example, and through scholarship – as our nation reflects upon these tragedies and begins to forge a shared path forward.
When tragedy occurs, it is important for us to support one another and to lend a hand to those who are grieving and hurting. As a member of our community, each of you should feel empowered to do what you can to bring us to the day when such division, fear and resentment are merely bad memories. Start by doing something kind for someone else. Continue by refusing to stereotype a group of people because of the actions of a few. Step outside your comfort zone and try to understand another person’s point of view, which, like yours, is formed from unique life experiences. And most of all, lend support to those who may be troubled from what we have all, as a nation, been through. If you or someone you know is hurting, please don’t hesitate to call or refer them to services available on campus. University of Nebraska–Lincoln students can contact Counseling and Psychological Services, or CAPS, at 402-472-7450, and faculty and staff can contact the Employee Assistance Program, or EAP, at 402-472-3107.
Thank you for all you do, in acts both big and small, to demonstrate respect for others.
Ronnie D. Green, Chancellor
Marjorie Kostelnik, Interim Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
Ron Yoder, Interim IANR Harlan Vice Chancellor
Prem Paul, Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development
Christine Jackson, Vice Chancellor for Business and Finance
Juan Franco, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
Mark Askren, Vice Chancellor for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer