Dear Fielding Community Members,
As the disturbing news of this weekend’s Charlottesville events hangs in our heads and hearts, and we all continue to try to make sense of the social and political ideologies that divide our country, I wanted to connect across our community. While our community fully advocates the notion that a university must be a safe place for diverse opinions and perspectives, we reject the notion that free speech should include a cover for the promulgation of racial, ethnic, and other forms of bigotry. I also want to remind all of us of the value of the work being done daily by Fielding students, alumni, staff, faculty, and trustees — work that aims to bring understanding and justice to our communities.
In keeping with our longstanding mission of addressing personal, organizational, societal, ecological, and global concerns in pursuit of a more just and sustainable world, Fielding’s new Inclusion Council is moving forward swiftly to make our commitment to social and ecological justice more explicit, intentional and visible. We are also expanding our efforts to serve underserved communities with Social Transformation Projects to be active in communities across the country. Ultimately our purpose is to ensure that our graduates can address difficult issues such as racism, heterosexism, sexism, and anti-Semitism thoughtfully and provide inclusive leadership in all the contexts they live and work.
Nothing good comes of hatred, but it is especially out of place at a university, where open minds seek solutions to the most compelling issues of our age. As University of Virginia President Theresa Sullivan said, “In the days, weeks and months ahead, there will be many opportunities to discuss as a community the events of this past weekend and how our community of trust and mutual respect can come together and further demonstrate and underscore our shared values. We will continue to uphold these values as a community and reject the ideology of intolerance and hate.”
We stand with the University of Virginia. We stand on the side of social action and meaningful change. And we thank you for continuing to do the excellent work you all do in furtherance of a thoughtful and compassionate world.
Katrina S. Rogers
Fielding Graduate University