Division News & Statements

Statement from President Mantella: The Road to Justice is Ahead

August 28, 2020

Dear Grand Valley Community,

As many work to safely return to campus, we must also be mindful of the social unrest that continues to impact our nation as it grapples with a painful history of systemic racism and oppression. The shooting of Jacob Blake and continued demonstrations in Wisconsin and across the country in reaction are reminders of how much work we have ahead of us. It reminds us to stay true to the commitments we made in June to learn, understand, act, and lead as partners in action against racism. The progress we have made is encouraging, but our work must continue vigorously as much of the road to justice is ahead.

While we must press forward with urgency, we know the anxiety and emotions of many are heightened. In particular, we acknowledge the continued hurt and fear felt by many of our Black community members.The well-being of each of you and all in our community is our top priority. The University Counseling Center offers support for students experiencing overwhelming emotions following a tragic event, and the Encompass Employee Assistance Program provides a number of resources for employees. Any member of the Grand Valley family who needs support or information on resources can also contact the Division of Inclusion and Equity at inclusion@gvsu.edu.

We must continue to work peacefully and vigilantly against bigotry and oppression in all of its forms. As Lakers, we must exercise great care of each other against both the virus of COVID and racism.  


Philomena V. Mantella

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Page last modified August 28, 2020