Dear Robinson community,
As we approach July 4th, I’ve been reflecting on the upcoming national holiday in the context of recent events. Independence Day marks the day the Declaration of Independence was approved by the Second Continental Congress in 1776. The document contains the commanding ideal that we are created equal, and that all of us are endowed with “certain unalienable rights,” including “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
The great catastrophe of history is the gap between the potential of the ideas in the Declaration of Independence and the extraordinary inadequacy of their implementation in this country. The recent murder of George Floyd, the gunning down of Ahmaud Arbery and the racial profiling of Christian Cooper are recent reminders of the appalling cost of human lives this has taken and continues to take due to the evils of racism, sexism and inequality that are a part of our economic, political, educational and social systems.
The best opportunity for society to survive and prosper is to champion the talent in all of us. While I believe Robinson and Georgia State aim to be at the forefront of doing just that, we recognize there is a long way to go to achieve true freedom and dignity for all.
Therefore, Robinson will become one of the organizations making choices that drive the march of history in the direction of justice for all. In the fall, a task force of faculty, staff, student leadership, alumni and strategic partners will come together to collaboratively consider the work we should engage to build a more inclusive college, to fight against injustice and inequality, and to promote a more inclusive America that provides greater opportunity for all its citizens. More information on the task force will be forthcoming. For now, I ask that we all consider the potential of this important date in our history.