Dear Highline College Community,
The events of this week continue to weigh on the hearts of many. Numerous times, I have sat down at my computer and attempted to send a message to our campus but to no avail. And then I read this piece that Allison Green sent earlier (visit link) and it’s helped me begin to articulate my words. Please bear with me as I attempt to provide my thoughts.
The recent and continued events have left me numb, frustrated and exhausted. As your President, I want to send out messages that reaffirm our commitment to leading with racial equity and advocating racial, social and economic justice in service to our diverse communities, which I strongly believe. I want to assure everyone that we will “get through this” and like every other President across the country, say the appropriate buzzwords that hopefully will bring comfort. But right now, honestly, like many folks, I’m struggling. Because before becoming a President, your President, I’m a black male and will always be a black male. And while I’m proud of my racial heritage and identify, I know the pain and struggle that surrounds it. And watching this unfold through our communication mediums is draining and devastating. For many black folks, always needing to explain, educate, challenge others to think critically through this racial equity lens is simply exhausting. And right now, I’m at that place. And I’m struggling with this guilt because I feel I should be doing more. But I’ve accepted that at this moment, my honesty and being vulnerable to our campus is the best I can offer. And I hope you can understand.
I encourage you to read the information Allison shared because while deeply sad and very real, it provided me some energy. Thank you, Professor Green!
I will say one thing, one request for thought. Each one of us knows someone who is struggling. Regardless if it’s due to these events just mentioned, systemic racism, COVID-19, unemployment or other numerous issues that folks are dealing with in public or private, people need the love, comfort, care of one another. Connect with folks and simply listen to them – it doesn’t take a mask, political affiliation, nor needing to be in a statewide “phase” requirement to listen and reflect. There is so much more that I can say and maybe at another point, I will. But for now, I ask that we remember why we make the choices we do, what we ask of others and what’s our responsibility for our ever-changing and wounded world. How we respond is critical. When you have a moment, spend a few minutes and review our mission, vision and values and commitment to diversity – this is why I’m so fortunate to have the life-changing opportunity to serve as your President. I hope as a community we can further come together and model true humanity for our society.
And personally, I thank you all for the space to be honest, vulnerable and a little nervous articulating the many, many emotions running through my mind. Please be safe and kind.
All my best,
John R. Mosby, Ph.D.