Dear WesternU Family,

I write to you today deeply troubled by the tragic death of George Floyd.

This senseless death is a call to action. It is a call for each and every one of us to not merely acknowledge a history of racial and other injustices, but to overcome our past and current shortcomings as a society, and – with tireless and responsible work – to begin healing.

As a nation together we will forge a path that rebuilds our trust, our economy, our solidarity as a people, and – ultimately – achieves true justice.

Though we still have a long path ahead, we will overcome racial and other injustices.

But these are difficult and trying times.

This national tragedy fueled by anger at racial injustice arises amid a fearsome pandemic.

Indeed, this summer begins with us still beset by a global pandemic and in unfamiliar isolation. We must call upon our inner strength and resiliency.

Through the pandemic, we have nurtured a sense of community with hope and good cheer. We have all seen remarkable social solidarity as doctors, nurses, and other health forces battle the disease while further front line servants of the public sustain us in our daily lives, such as postal workers and grocery clerks.

Yet this tragedy has jolted the spirit we shared in facing and fighting the pandemic.

Peaceful protests are a hallmark of our democratic society and a powerful way to call for civil change. Emotions such as anger and fear are understandable and though potent, they can be unpredictably volatile and destructive. Violence is an unwelcome distraction from vital work that we must have across America.

We must convert fear and anger into hope and hard work.

At WesternU, we prepare for our new and new and returning student caregivers to resume studies this fall. Our calling as health educators is more important than ever before.

We will overcome the difficulties of these days together, the WesternU Way – with caring, respect, empathy, and trust that have ever made us so innovative, audacious, and nimble. This bedrock of Humanism informs all that we do and assures our mission is ever a beacon that reflects Compassion as we serve our Communities.

In closing, let us all share condolences with the Floyd family and to our grieving nation.

Let us redouble our efforts to promote science in a deeply humanistic way that serves our nation and the world in this time of pain and grief.

Let us also continue to teach, to heal, together.