Special Message from the President: Statement on Recent Mass Shootings

 Faculty, Staff, and Students,

In the last two weeks, we witnessed the heartbreaking devastation of two mass shootings. The disturbing news of the horrific shootings in Atlanta, where a gunman intentionally targeted the Asian American community, reminded me of last summer when we collectively raised our voices to say that "Black Lives Matter." Then another in Boulder, Colorado, where a gunman killed 10 people, including a police officer. Once again, our country must endure the debilitating aftermath of an individual's disdain for others. This is something that we cannot accept.  

Past and recent atrocities against Asian Americans and others not only alter the lives of their respective families and communities but inches our nation into an abyss of unacceptable acceptance. As members of the higher education community, we must continue normalizing the expectation of acceptance, inclusion, and diversity. Not because these are the buzz words of the year, but because we believe in the power of these words. We must come to expect the celebration of differences instead of condemning and vilifying differences of race, gender, and socio-economic status. 

Let's not be silent about things that are wrong. Speak out, shout if necessary, but don't accept contempt and harm against anyone. In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., "In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."

To the families of the shooting victims in Georgia and Colorado, Albany State University extends our deepest sympathy. Find some solace and comfort in knowing that we, as an institution, remain committed to providing a global education built on a history of equity, equality, and the celebration of our differences. Let us chose to be fueled by the power of unity, equity, and advancing the nation through inclusion and understanding.

All yours for ASU, 

Marion Ross Fedrick