Anna Bowers · June 2, 2020
Today, Southern Virginia University issued the following statement:
“We are sad and appalled by the too frequent tragedy of racial abuse, especially if under the guise of civil authority with physical abuse leading to injury or death. This kind of behavior cannot be tolerated and should be fully and openly investigated, condemned, and prosecuted. We grieve for those afflicted with such abuse, and for their families and loved ones.
We are opposed to abuse and intolerance of any kind. We honor Dr. Martin Luther King’s call for a better world, where racial prejudice and abuse no longer live, and all “…will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.” We are committed to this ideal here in our community and to doing all we can for its realization everywhere.
We believe the hope of humanity lies in the counsel and example of the Lord Jesus Christ, that we Love One Another.”
The University also fully endorses the following statement issued yesterday by President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:
“We join with many throughout this nation and around the world who are deeply saddened at recent evidences of racism and a blatant disregard for human life. We abhor the reality that some would deny others respect and the most basic of freedoms because of the color of his or her skin.
We are also saddened when these assaults on human dignity lead to escalating violence and unrest.
The Creator of us all calls on each of us to abandon attitudes of prejudice against any group of God’s children. Any of us who has prejudice toward another race needs to repent!
During the Savior’s earthly mission, He constantly ministered to those who were excluded, marginalized, judged, overlooked, abused, and discounted. As His followers, can we do anything less? The answer is no! We believe in freedom, kindness, and fairness for all of God’s children!
Let us be clear. We are brothers and sisters, each of us the child of a loving Father in Heaven. His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, invites all to come unto Him—“black and white, bond and free, male and female,” (2 Nephi 26:33). It behooves each of us to do whatever we can in our spheres of influence to preserve the dignity and respect every son and daughter of God deserves.
Any nation can only be as great as its people. That requires citizens to cultivate a moral compass that helps them distinguish between right and wrong.
Illegal acts such as looting, defacing, or destroying public or private property cannot be tolerated. Never has one wrong been corrected by a second wrong. Evil has never been resolved by more evil.
We need to foster our faith in the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man.
We need to foster a fundamental respect for the human dignity of every human soul, regardless of their color, creed, or cause.
And we need to work tirelessly to build bridges of understanding rather than creating walls of segregation.
I plead with us to work together for peace, for mutual respect, and for an outpouring of love for all of God’s children.”
We invite any students who feel affected by recent events to reach out to the Wellness Center at 540-261-8470 or firstname.lastname@example.org, where our caring staff is available to provide free counseling services and support.
We also encourage students to reach out to the co-founders of our Black Student Union, Michael Frye and Victoria Kargbo at email@example.com, to listen to their perspectives and learn positive ways to help in communities and homes.
As a University community, we strive to live the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and to be aligned with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The principles of equality, inclusion, and kindness are essential to accomplishing our mission to Gather. Lift. Launch.
We will continue in our efforts to embrace equality, inclusion, and kindness, and to increase diversity and tolerance on our campus while working with our minority students and groups as we move forward.
Office of the President & Black Student Union
Southern Virginia University