President Lawrence’s Statement on Charlottesville

Hollins University

Hollins President Pareena Lawrence shared the following message today with students, faculty, and staff: 

To the campus community,

Like many of you, I reacted with shock, outrage, and sadness to the events that unfolded in Charlottesville this weekend.  I join with political and academic leaders from across the nation in condemning the bigotry and violence perpetrated by white-supremacist organizations. I also send my deepest condolences to the families of Heather Heyer and Virginia State Troopers Berke M.M. Bates and H. Jay Cullen, who tragically lost their lives on Saturday.

Hollins, like so many institutions of higher learning, embraces inclusivity and diversity. We promote free speech and a constructive and peaceful exchange of thought, whether there is consensus or disagreement.

It is incumbent upon all of us to avoid the danger of complacency when white nationalists and other extremists perpetuate racism and resort to violence. We must reaffirm by our actions as well as words that there is no place for either. As we prepare to begin Fall Term in a few weeks, let us take this opportunity –actively and purposefully –to set an example. Let us recommit ourselves to fostering an atmosphere of love, care, and compassion. Let us redouble our efforts to support one another and uphold civility, integrity, and social justice.

As I posted on Twitter last Saturday, “We are a proud nation that exemplifies multiracial and multiethnic democracy. We must stand together when any group takes that away from us.”

Pareena Lawrence
President

 

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