A Message from the President: Outrage into Resolve
What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore –
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over –
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it Explode?
– Langston Hughes
I first read the Langston Hughes poem in high school. And this weekend, I could not get it out of my mind. Like all of you, I have been trying to process the pain.
The cruelness we all recently witnessed with the killings of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery leave me with such profound sadness, and yes anger. How do we deal with such stark injustice, hate and brutality? These atrocities are unfortunately not new and they are layered onto the fact that people of color are suffering far greater from the coronavirus pandemic. I want to just yell, stop! But that will not change the inequality. And there lies the answer. Enough words, it is time for positive action.
As an institution of higher education, DelVal needs to lead in destroying ignorance that breeds fear and many times violence. We need to be educated and learn with an open heart what prejudice looks like for each of us. We must dedicate ourselves to fight all forms of discrimination as well as help to dismantle the systemic racism that continues to plague our country.
Together we can support each other so we can become better people, and we can help our community heal. We start by strengthening our campus. Over the summer, I will be working with our Vice President of Campus Life and Inclusive Excellence, Dr. April Vari, and the President’s Commission on Diversity to continue to move on the goals and objectives of the foundational piece of our strategic plan that is the creation of a dynamic and inclusive culture: living our core values.
We also can be part of the solution by taking the time to share our voices on the campus climate survey that the Commission will launch upon the start of the Fall semester. I am carefully listening. Let’s turn our outrage into resolve. The collective wisdom and compassion of the DelVal Family will serve us in our mission of change.
Please love one another and stay healthy.
Dr. Maria Gallo