10.31.18 | Dear Students: Another Difficult Week


Dear Students,

The past week has been another troubling and tragic one in our country. Eleven Jewish congregants were killed in a Pittsburgh synagogue on Saturday morning. Two black men were murdered by a white supremacist in a Louisville grocery store on Thursday. At least thirteen bombs were mailed in an attempt to assassinate many of our nation’s leaders. The White House is considering a reversal of recognition and protection of transgender people by narrowly defining gender as biological and determined at birth. And, yesterday morning, the President suggested he might end the constitutional guarantee of birthright citizenship.

It saddens me that there is so much hate, fear, and divisiveness in our country that I must regularly deliberate on whether or not to send a message to you all. Is this or that particular issue close enough to home to impact you? Are there so many emails from me that the messages become diluted?

But, today is a day for an email. A message to you all.

Once again, I find myself saying, “I’m sorry.” I’m sorry for the grief and unease you may be feeling over any or all of the week’s news.

Once again, I find myself reminding you that here at CCAD, you are valued, you are loved, you are respected for who you are, and that won’t change with drifting political winds.

Once again, I find myself asking you to care for your peers as you would your own family members. And, seek help for yourself or others when you need it.

And, once again, I find myself reaffirming that political and ideological differences should never lead to violence or the encroachment upon others’ rights.

Today is a day for leadership and a time for resiliency in the face of challenges. At CCAD, each of us should do our best to live by our Core Values, and that includes the responsibility of leading from every seat. Leadership means speaking out and taking action against what is not right, but it also means respecting those with differing opinions, and most importantly, learning how to engage in civil and critical conversations with your peers. So, I hope you will spend time this week following the news – as difficult as that can be sometimes, discussing the issues with your classmates, and most importantly, engaging in action that nourishes your well-being and sustains a healthy and democratic society.

And a healthy and democratic society thrives on the voices of its constituents being heard; one of the best ways that you can be heard is to vote. Election day is next Tuesday, November 6. I hope that you take your voices to the polls, and then come back to campus to create art and design that envision the world as you feel it should be.

My best,