To the families, friends and loved ones of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, we extend our deepest sympathy. Our hearts ache for both the nation we have worked to make more just and equitable and for the city we love and call home. Through our grief for the countless known and unknown victims of systematic racism, we continue to pray that we can use this moment to shine light in our communities. This is not the moment to fall into despair. The world needs our leadership and love. As our forefathers and mothers from the Atlanta Student Movement, the larger Civil Rights Movement, and every struggle for justice in America have shown us, we accomplish great things when we act in solidarity with those who fight for freedom and push America to live up to its promise.
For well over a century, the institutions of the Atlanta University Center have worked to use the light of knowledge to guide the nation out of dark times. The very existence of Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, Morehouse School of Medicine, and Spelman College is a form of protest in itself—a recognition that education can illuminate the path to justice and equality and a demand that it be available to the sons and daughters of the diaspora. While we are proud of the leaders in every field our institutions have sent forth into the workforce, we are even prouder of their preparation to carry forward the hard work of making the world better through ideas, innovation, creativity, courage, and determination.
What can we do, individually and as the AUC community? What is the way forward? What are the difficult conversations we need to have and with whom? What are the action plans we need to craft? These are the challenges in the days and weeks ahead. Together, we must continue to thoughtfully engage in the hard work of creating positive change in our communities and across our nation.
George French, Ph.D.
President, Clark Atlanta University
David Thomas, Ph.D.
President, Morehouse College
Valerie Montgomery Rice, MD, FACOG
President, Morehouse School of Medicine
Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D.
President, Spelman College