Joint Statement from Dr. James N. Baldwin, President; Dr. David Schejbal, President-elect; and the Excelsior College Board of Trustees:

The deaths of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Ahmaud Arbery in Brunswick, Georgia, are tragic examples of the racial divide and culture of intolerance with which our nation continues to struggle. We are outraged and saddened by recent events, and we grieve for all who are victims of bigotry, hatred, and social injustice.

Although neither of these individuals were members of the Excelsior College community, the tragic circumstances of their deaths highlight the effects of systemic racism and tensions that fester throughout our society. Let us reflect on the challenges before us and reaffirm our commitment to equality, justice, inclusion, and respect.

The mission of Excelsior College is to provide academic opportunities for those who are historically underrepresented in higher education. Given the role of higher education as an equalizing force and social good, this mission is even more important considering the current, tragic events.

We join together with the Excelsior College community to renounce racism in all its forms, reject hatred and bigotry, and urge that we come together as a community of learners who strive to be wiser, kinder, more respectful, and more inclusive of all people.