Message to the Community Regarding Civil Unrest and Race Relations

To the Maryville community,

The events of the past few weeks and the horrific killing of George Floyd have exposed the scourge of racism and exclusion in American society. Unfortunately, this act is part of a long history of America’s collective failure to deal with issues of race. The corrosive impact of racism must be addressed, called out and through education, dialogue and action, eliminated from our society.

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Those who peacefully protest and call out such racism are exercising freedoms guaranteed by our constitution and fought for by millions of brave men and women throughout our history. They deserve our engagement. Those few who would use this tragedy to engage in violence and crime do not represent the values of justice and freedom that all education must support and enhance. We can never condone those few who try to warp peaceful protest for their own ends.

In the weeks and months ahead let us help each other to face these issues squarely and with emotional honesty. Let us recommit our community to that most sacred of principles; justice, equally applied and guaranteed for all. Dr. King taught us that “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

Mark Lombardi, PhD
President of Maryville University

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