June 2, 2020
Atlanta Technical College family,
Atlanta has served as the model for progress, the backdrop of the Civil Rights movement, and the home of a city that has been defined by the moniker “too busy to hate.” Recent events, both locally and nationally, have called into question the challenges and hardships that continue to plague our collective society.
Over the course of the last week, I have been faced with a wide range of emotions evoked by the troubling sights and aggressive actions that led to thousands of people gathering across the nation to express their feelings, thoughts, and grievances—a right that is provided by our Constitution. Racism, police brutality, and injustice of any kind have no place in our great state and our nation. ATC is committed to maintaining a safe environment, void of the hate and violence that has consumed our newscasts and social media feeds. As leaders, it is incumbent upon each of us to continue to carry the banner that has made Atlanta the home of social justice reform and racial equality.
As students, faculty, and staff members of ATC, you have the right to express yourself in lawful protests and demonstrations, as you cry out for justice for Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and our other brothers and sisters who lost their lives due to incomprehensible acts of violence. Throughout the years, our students and leaders, of past and present, have joined in historic efforts that have changed the very essence of America. I know in this moment that Atlanta will again lead the way for historic reform and blaze a path forward from the darkness many of us feel today.
Atlanta continues to serve as the spark that ignites positive change that spans from coast to coast. It is my fundamental belief that these trying times and uncertain circumstances will fuel the same spark that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Ambassador Andrew Young, Congressman John Lewis, and countless others utilized to light the way during the Civil Rights Movement.
I invite you to join us this Thursday for ATC’s Family Connection, a virtual town hall, in support of your freedom of expression. Please use this link to register and attend this important town hall meeting to discuss the state of our nation. Additionally, we have dedicated resources for students and staff to access as we deal with the mental impact and anguish of recent tragic events.
The very fabric of who we are at ATC is woven by the diverse cast of individuals, comprised of different races, ethnicities, and backgrounds who share a common thread through this institution of higher education. For 53 years, ATC has remained committed to transforming lives and communities—that involves speaking out about injustice and giving a voice to those muted by the status quo. I encourage the entire ATC Community to remain vocal, be engaged in the civic process, and rise up against injustice in every form. As we continue to navigate these days, I would remind the ATC Family to embrace the tenants that enable us to thrive and to lead during the most challenging times. Together, we will be an even stronger ATC.
If you decide to go out, please wear a mask and social distance as much as possible.