Division News & Statements

Statement Condemning Incidents of Hate at UVA and Charlottesville

August 14, 2017

We are deeply saddened, disturbed, and outraged by the events that took place over the weekend at the University of Virginia and across Charlottesville. During this time of healing, our thoughts are with the families and loved ones of those who lost their lives or were injured.

Grand Valley State University recognizes the responsibility we have to speak out against efforts that attempt to divide people based on our differences. We condemn the actions of white supremacist groups who only seek to spread messages of hate and intolerance through acts of intimidation and violence.

As Virginia and our nation continue to wrestle with the plague of racism that impacts our nation and its systems, Grand Valley seeks to provide all of our community members with opportunities to learn and grow our understanding of social justice. This is accomplished through curricular and co-curricular experiences and the relationships we are encouraged to build throughout the campus and our community.

Our Framework for Inclusion and Equity (www.gvsu.edu/inclusion/framework) encourages us to embrace a social justice approach to our diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. As a complex social system, we recognize that we are neither immune to the impact nor the root causes of systemic inequality and while these dynamics are not always under the university’s direct control, we are committed to educating about, addressing, and transforming systems that continue to be oppressive to some communities. Addressing racial disparities is central to this commitment.

As the academic year begins, we are reminded of our need to be united in remembering and advancing our university values of inclusiveness and community. We must also continue to work against the hatred of white supremacy and bigotry in all of its forms.

The well-being of our community is our top priority. For those who need support, the University Counseling Center (www.gvsu.edu/counsel) is available to assist students and the Employee Assistance Program (www.gvsu.edu/healthwellness/emotional-well-being-345.htm) is available for employees. The Division of Inclusion and Equity (www.gvsu.edu/inclusion) is also available to provide space for dialogue as well as meaningful opportunities for all members of our community to join in efforts to create a more welcoming and inclusive campus that boldly speaks out against acts of hate and works to eliminate inequities in education and our society. A community space for dialogue and support has been organized for Wednesday, August 16 from noon-1pm in the Office of Multicultural Affairs (1240 Kirkhof Center).

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Page last modified August 14, 2017