Tougaloo College releases this position statement to add its voice to the outcry like many others who abhor the brutal killing of Mr. Floyd and others from police brutality. These senseless deaths reaffirm Tougaloo’s commitment to the fight for justice and we recognize that education is key to creating a more compassionate, just and humane society.
POSITION STATEMENT ON GEORGE FLOYD
Carmen J. Walters, Ph.D., President
Tougaloo College joins in solidarity with others nationwide to mourn the death of George Floyd and demand justice for him and countless others, Ahmaud Arbery (GA), Breonna Taylor (KY), Eric Garner (NY), Tamir Rice (OH), Walter Scott (SC), Terence Crutcher (OK), Botham Jean (TX), and Trayvon Martin (FL), who have been victims of police brutality. We are saddened that in unprecedented times such as these, African Americans remain victims of racial violence. It is extremely disheartening that this has long been the reality of African Americans in this nation throughout history.
During the height of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, Tougaloo College students, faculty and administrators stood firm in the face of Jim Crow; and, more than 50 years later, Tougaloo College continues to stand firm in its efforts to not only ensure that our students are academically engaged but civically engaged to help create a more compassionate, just and humane society.
Nelson Mandela said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Historically Black Colleges and Universities were founded on the premise of preparing African American men and women to become leaders. Tougaloo College is investing in our future leaders. We are preparing scholars to expose injustice, wherever it occurs and in whatever form it rears its ugly head, and use their voices to articulate and address the concerns of the African American race specifically and the human race in general.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in the months that preceded his assassination, spoke frequently of people “sleeping” during moments of social change. Tougaloo College is awake and present standing firm in our commitment to social justice and equity for all. To avow our commitment, we are partnering with Justice Reuben V. Anderson to create a Social Justice Institute, housed at Tougaloo College, as part of the Reuben V. Anderson Center for Justice. The Institute will equip Tougaloo’s scholars, community partners and other constituents for lifelong engagement on social justice issues through theory, practice and initiatives that build skills and knowledge in the areas of Pre-Law, Public Policy, Leadership Development, and Social Activism and Justice. Through collective collaboration, we will forge alliances that will work purposely to eradicate racism, injustice and inequality throughout this state and Nation.
Micah 6:8 says, “…And what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thou God?”