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Calling out hate

Aug. 21, 2017

As students return to Augustana, I’ve been reflecting on the role of Augustana in responding to hateful incidents we are seeing in our nation and our world. We can all be proud of the Augustana community for the steps we’ve taken to embrace diversity and inclusion, though we still have much progress to make. As part of our commitment to being a welcoming place, I hope all members of our campus community will seek to understand the fear and hurt experienced by those who are the targets of white supremacists and similar hate groups.

To support our campus community and advance the values of the college, it is important that we not remain silent, but instead condemn shameful acts of hate such as those in Charlotteville. I encourage all members of the Augustana community to call out hate, find opportunities to discuss bigotry, racism and ignorance, and help all of us develop better skills to build bridges that can heal our fractured nation. 

The values of our college and our community have led to Augustana’s Five Faith Commitments. The first of these commitments is Interfaith Engagement, and the second is Social Justice. I also would point you to my Statement on Diversity and Inclusion, and our Augustana 2020 Strategic Plan, which includes the college’s strategic direction on diversity and inclusion. Calling out and strongly condemning hate is a critical element to providing an intentional welcome to all.