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  • Dianne Lynch

But what does that mean?

On Sunday, Stephens College issued a statement -- I issued a statement -- expressing our community's values and Ideals in response to the murder of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police and the disruption of violent protests across our nation.


I posted that statement here, and we distributed it across our community.


But statements of principles -- heartfelt and sincere though they may be -- are a poor substitute for action and ally-ship.


So after three days of discussion and reflection, Stephens College -- with the support of its leadership -- issued a more direct and clear statement of its commitments. I share that with you here as a pledge and a promise that we will work diligently and insistently to take words into action:

On Sunday afternoon, the College issued a statement of values and principles in response to the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, the latest of a long litany of senseless killings of Black men, women and non-binary individuals at the hands of police.  It was heartfelt, honest and true to our Ten Ideals.

Over the past three days, we have dedicated ourselves to reflection and deliberation:  What does that statement mean in action?

It means that it is necessary to take a stand, because not doing so is not neutral.  It is negative, and it is silence -- the absence of a stand.  

It means that today, we affirm that we stand with … #BlackLivesMatter, #BlackLifeMatters, #GeorgeFloyd, #IyannaDior, #TonyMcDade, Sandra Bland, Travyon Martin, Eric Garner, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown and the other Black men, women, and non-binary individuals who have been victimized by police violence.

Today, we affirm our commitment as individuals to do our individual work, recognizing that racism hurts us all and hurts us differently, therefore, we have different work to do as white people and as people of color.

Today, we affirm our commitment as communities within Stephens  - residential, online, graduate students, faculty, staff, Board of Trustees and alumnae - to do our communal work, practicing getting comfortable with being uncomfortable.

Today, we affirm our commitment as an organization to intentionally identify where and to what extent systemic isms (racism, sexism, classism, heterosexism, ableism, lookism) are embedded.

We remain Inspired by the Ten Ideals and committed to ensuring marginalized and underrepresented members of our community are centered.

We invite you to join our Zoom meeting at noon central tomorrow where we will begin our learning together.  If you’re interested in attending, please email president@stephens.edu and we will provide you with the meeting info.


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