A Message from Interim President Eanes
Three names are on my mind today as I write this message with a heavy heart. Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd. Three families mourning loved ones who did not return home. They now join a much longer list of Black individuals who have been senselessly killed as we yet again are reminded of the seemingly inescapable presence of racism in its various forms in our country.
These are tragic times, but we do not have to be limited by these events or in the ways we choose to respond to one another. We must fully center our humanity toward one another and respond in ways that do not diminish human dignity. We find ourselves in contested times and these trials and tribulations allow us to lean into the discomfort, sit with the pain, the fear and ask ourselves the hard questions. What is my responsibility in this? What action can I take? How am I directly connected to these events? To all of these people? Only until we see ourselves directly related to each of these tragedies that have played out on our television screens, social media, and cities throughout our country, will we realize our responsibility to one another to ensuring the human dignity within each of us.
I recognize the trauma and deep pain that many of our students, families, faculty and staff are experiencing in the wake of these most recent tragic acts of violence. I want you to know you are not alone. I stand with you along with so many others in our campus community, and we extend our support particularly to York’s Black students, faculty, staff, alumni and community partners – we see you, we respect you and we support you.
Margaret Wheatley once stated “We can turn away or we can turn toward. Those are the only two choices we have.” I hope we choose to turn toward.
In community and with hope,
Berenecea J. Eanes, Ph.D.