The Presidents of the 15 Community Colleges of Massachusetts unite to voice our opposition to the violence, bigotry, racism and hate we witnessed in Charlottesville, Virginia this past weekend.
The students on our campuses across the Commonwealth reflect the rich diversity of our nation. Our philosophy of teaching and learning has, at its core, the promise of inclusive excellence and social justice. We embrace our shared values of global citizenship and prize the richness of cultural wealth in our diverse communities. We respect people from all nations, cultures, background, and experience and welcome them to join our community of scholars and learners, for therein lies the hope and the future strength of our nation and our world.
We reject, in the strongest possible terms, hateful rhetoric, harmful actions, or attempts to diminish the values or identity of our community members, while remaining committed to the fundamental right of free speech. These actions will not gain a foothold on our campuses. We will provide safe and secure environments for our students, faculty and staff. We will continue to embrace the diversity that makes our institutions strong.
Our community colleges are democracy’s colleges. The teaching and learning that happen at our 15 colleges speaks to the immense compassion and potential that enrich our nation. In these times that test our resolve as leaders, we renew our pledge to our communities. You are all welcome and valued; your religion, race, ethnicity, language, citizenship, and gender are honored. We will continue to learn together. Hate has no place at our Massachusetts Community Colleges.
On behalf of the Presidents of the Massachusetts Community Colleges,
James Vander Hooven
President, Mount Wachusett Community College